The aromas wafting across the grounds of Blanco's were deliciously intense as 40 teams put forth their best culinary talents in the third annual chili cook-off hosted by the Young Professionals of Casa de Esperanza.
Credit chairs Brad Dinerstein and Tim Neuhaus for stirring up such a potent brew of YPs that numbered more than 500 by the time the judging began.
The daunting task of tasting those 40 spicy concoctions went to judges chef David Cordua of Cordua Restaurants, Bite Me Houston/Austin founder Mike Cortez and Grafiti Kitchen and Bar owner Kevin Strickland. They awarded top honors to "Chili Team 6," comprised of David Wood, Marc Freeman, Adam Tepper, Greg Talbert and Clarke Crenshaw.
While the chili was simmering, guests munched on hot dogs from Fiesta and kicked up their heels to the sounds of The Mavens, bid on auction items and bought raffle tickets — the latter two an effort that by day's end had raised $60,000 for the non-profit. Kudos to raffle chairs Katherine Plumb and Cabell Walker.
Big chiefs on the scene were cook-off founders Ben Brown and Alan Falik and the hard-working host committee including Raine Falik, Max Barrett, Mikey Gough, Jaclyn Martin, Elizabeth Spradling and Bruce Wallace.