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!