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The Chili Report: Jalapeno, Hog Wild Chili Take Top Spots at Bubba’s Chili Cook-Off

Nov 7, 2016 | 14:10 Mon
It was a great day to eat buckets and buckets of chili last Saturday down at Bubba’s, as the Texas BBQ venue hosted their 11th annual chili cook-off event. A scaled back event from previous years, the field for 2016 consisted of 11 chili teams vying for People Choice, Judges Choice, and Best Team Theme prizes. Your chili correspondent was honored to be one of the judges for the event, a process that consisted of being sequestered into a room and blind tasting the entries in total, monk-like silence. We were closely monitored to make sure no backroom chili chicanery went on, scoring randomly numbered samples based on aroma, appearance, and taste. Full list of winners after the jump.


We were treated to a fairly diverse range of chili this year with Chef Gavin of Jalapeno taking the top spot for the judges. The man had just come off a win for Best Taco at the Latin fest a few days earlier. Dude is accruing the amateur cook-off accolades. Best Chili for the people went to Wild Hog Chili and Craig Andrich, who served up a steaming pot with a big ole bone sticking out of it. Wild Hog is the name of Andrich’s BBQ team in Shanghai and back in the States, where he cooks at tournaments. Not his first rodeo, I guess.

Congrats to all the constants, as well as Ken, Mark, and Bubba's for hosting and organizing.

Chef Gavin for Jalapeno

Judge’s Choice Best Chili:

1st) Jalapeno, Chef Gavin
2nd) Sauce Code, Alex Coxall
3rd) Golden Gloves, Vidal Narvios TIES Mexicolindo, Pascal Monaco

Craig Andrich for Wild Hog

People’s Choice Best Chili:

1st) Wild Hog Chili, Craig Andrich
2nd) Jalapeno TIES Golden Gloves
3rd) Detroit American Barbeque, Bruce Taylor

Best Team Theme:

Spicy Panda Ninjas

Speaking with owner Ken Walker on the future of the event — Bubba’s is slated to close in the near future — he says that they’re moving the cook-off to a larger venue for next year, and opening it up to more teams and guests. It peaked out in their larger years at 27 teams and 1,500 guests. Maybe expect something closer to that next year.

Judge's table carnage -- it's all over except for the corn bread.

Top three acid flashbacks from Bubba’s Chili Cook Off 2016:

1st) Some truly evil chili-infused baijiu that was making the rounds. Pure Satan juice.

2nd) Writing on at least 3, maybe 4 people with permanent marker. Sorry about that.

3rd) Getting into it with some guy wearing a Rand Paul shirt.

Mmmmmm, chili!


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