A dash of this and handful of that, plus secret ingredients — it was all part of the scene as chili chefs donned their aprons and knocked back the brewskies at the Casa de Esperanza Young Professionals fourth annual Chili Cook-off.
Aromas of simmering red stuff wafted over the crowd of 500 that gathered on Cottonwood's open patios for the popular event, chaired by Brad Dinerstein, Jaclyn Martin, Tim Neuhaus and Bruce Wallace. Aiding in the fundraising effort that brought in $65,000 were raffle chairs Meredith Flaherty, Ally Hatz and Carolin Mode.
We would bet there was plenty of Alka-Seltzer at the ready for the judges — David Cordúa, Mike Cortez, Ricardo Molina, Greg Morago and Kevin Strickland — who tasted entries from the 35 teams.
And the winning team was Smiles Gone Wild, comprised of Julie Longoria Chen and Stephen Chen, Dell Cherry, Kelly Harold, Regina Lewis and Erica Maldonado.
Among those grooving to the sounds of The Mavens, picking up those raffle tickets and lining up to graze around Bernie's Burger Bus were chili cook-off committee members Sarah Brejot, Nick Adair, Ali and Pearson Montgomery, Brittany Bloom, Caroline and Will Brown and Philip Morgan.