Another dream fulfilled

My wife’s school held its annual chili cook-off and talent show last Friday.  One of the judges got stuck in traffic, so I was enlisted to be one of the judges for the chili contest.  I had always wanted to do that!  There were nine different chilis.  There was general consensus about the top three (showing the principle of classical aesthetics that beauty is objective), though the various judges differed somewhat in their rankings (showing the principle of classical aesthetics that there are legitimate variations in taste–for example, one of the contenders was a Cincinnatti-style chili, which is sweet and flavored with cinnamon.  It was well-done and good in its way, but I prefer Western-style, with lots of cumin).  Points were rewarded and tabulated, and winners were declared.  (My top choice did come in second–the Cincinnatti-style prevailed–but my choice also won the People’s Choice Award, so I felt vindicated.)  The talent show was quite charming, showcasing some very talented grade-school kids, with vocal performances ranging from “A Mighty Fortress” to Hannah Montana, instrumental numbers to comedy skits.  It was a good night of fellowship and classical education. I have been a movie critic, but the really good gig is to be a food critic.  What I’d like to do, now that I’ve helped judge a chili contest, is to judge a BBQ competition! 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bror Erickson

    The fact that the Cincinnatti style Chili won proves the east coast just has bad taste. I will remember not to eat Chili in Cincinnatti. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to eat a sweet bowl of Chili flavored with cinnamon. Agree with you on the western style Chili Veith, Think you are much to kind to the Cincinnati, the eighth commandment does not apply to Chili.

  • Bror Erickson

    The fact that the Cincinnatti style Chili won proves the east coast just has bad taste. I will remember not to eat Chili in Cincinnatti. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to eat a sweet bowl of Chili flavored with cinnamon. Agree with you on the western style Chili Veith, Think you are much to kind to the Cincinnati, the eighth commandment does not apply to Chili.

  • Carl Vehse

    That’s like eating Chicago-style fajitas (my mistake!). Some things are just not meant to be.

  • Carl Vehse

    That’s like eating Chicago-style fajitas (my mistake!). Some things are just not meant to be.

  • Joe

    Being from Wisconsin, I have eaten many different things that claim to be chili. My mom’s “chili” was a very spicy tomato soup with ground beef, elbow macaroni and beans in it, my grandma’s “chili” was the best beef vegetable soup I ever had but not at all spicy.

    Thankfully my wife has a terrific chili recipe that is actually chili. I never new what I was missing.

  • Joe

    Being from Wisconsin, I have eaten many different things that claim to be chili. My mom’s “chili” was a very spicy tomato soup with ground beef, elbow macaroni and beans in it, my grandma’s “chili” was the best beef vegetable soup I ever had but not at all spicy.

    Thankfully my wife has a terrific chili recipe that is actually chili. I never new what I was missing.

  • S Bauer

    I can’t believe you would participate in such an exercise of demeaning hierarchical structures and ethnocentric dismissal of the diversity inherent in the human “palate”. :-)
    Being from Wisconsin, my wife has this notion that chili should have elbow macaroni and kidney beans (!) in it.

  • S Bauer

    I can’t believe you would participate in such an exercise of demeaning hierarchical structures and ethnocentric dismissal of the diversity inherent in the human “palate”. :-)
    Being from Wisconsin, my wife has this notion that chili should have elbow macaroni and kidney beans (!) in it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17639370291865261582 Cindy

    The WELS church we went to when we lived in Austin has an annual chili cookoff. The issue of macaroni or no macaroni was a big deal. The native Texan contingent and the northern transplant contingent came up with this compromise: chili was to be made without pasta, and plain macaroni noodles would be served on the side. So Wisconsinites like me could add noodles to our chili, and Texans like my husband could eat theirs unadultered.

    That church has a salsa contest in conjunction with their chili cookoff. My husband and I at first wondered if that meant dancing or chip dip. It turned out to be the latter, and that was probably for the best. People from Wisconsin do not know how to salsa.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17639370291865261582 Cindy

    The WELS church we went to when we lived in Austin has an annual chili cookoff. The issue of macaroni or no macaroni was a big deal. The native Texan contingent and the northern transplant contingent came up with this compromise: chili was to be made without pasta, and plain macaroni noodles would be served on the side. So Wisconsinites like me could add noodles to our chili, and Texans like my husband could eat theirs unadultered.

    That church has a salsa contest in conjunction with their chili cookoff. My husband and I at first wondered if that meant dancing or chip dip. It turned out to be the latter, and that was probably for the best. People from Wisconsin do not know how to salsa.

  • Eric Phillips

    It’s good to hear that my minor loss was your dream-fulfilling gain.

    For the record, I generally prefer the Texas style chilis myself, but that night I thought that Cincinnati had a stronger representative in the house.

  • Eric Phillips

    It’s good to hear that my minor loss was your dream-fulfilling gain.

    For the record, I generally prefer the Texas style chilis myself, but that night I thought that Cincinnati had a stronger representative in the house.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X