Monday, November 10, 2008

Vegan Chili Cook-Off Deep in the Heart of Texas

This past weekend, Society of PEACE took a roadtrip to Austin, Texas to compete in the 20th annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off. Don't let the sign below fool you, this was an all vegan event held at the Austin Farmers Market :-)

17 teams from around our beautiful state competed in the competition. Each team was charged with making 5 gallons of vegan chili. In case you've never had to make 5 gallons of chili yourself, here is what all the ingredients look like.... thank goodness all those cans are recyclable!
After the vegan police inspected all of our ingredients, we got started bright and early (around 8am) chopping vegetables, draining beans, measuring spices, and getting everything prepped to start our first batch of chili.
At high noon, the doors were opened to the public for chili tasting. Before we knew it, there people were lined up at our booth! From then on, it was an almost constant stream of filling up chili bowls, serving up cornbread, selling baked goods, and handing out vegan literature. With all the running around trying to make additional batches of chili, I barely had time to say hello to Diann from Eat'n Veg'n who stopped by for a sample. It was nice to see a familiar face!
So did I manage to actually eat any chili during the cook-off? The answer is, of course, yes. We did several tastings of our own chili to get the seasoning right, and John was nice enough to run out into the crowd for brief breaks from kitchen duty and bring me back almost all of the other chili entries.
Chili wasn't the only vegan food being served up at the Society of PEACE booth. We made several batches of cornbread (one with jalapeno and one without) that were complimentary with chili samples while supplies lasted (it went fast!). To soothe the taster's taste buds, we offered grapes as a palette cleanser. And to finish with something sweet, as a fundraiser we offered Stacey's pumpkin oatmeal cookies and my pumpkin pie brownies as well as chocolate and vanilla cupcakes (Happy National Vanilla Cupcakes Day by the way) swirled with Society of PEACE colors.
As the competition came to a close, we gathered around to hear the results of the judges voting as well as the crowd favorite. Imagine our surprise when we heard Society of PEACE called out... the judges awarded our chili 2nd prize!! It was a rewarding finish to a crazy day. I had such a great time making chili with our awesome team: Sergio, Stacey, John, Kristen, Tosh, and Cairo (he's hiding between Stacey and I). Be sure to check out Stacey's post about the day on her blog Te Amo Vegano! And Tara posted about her experience as a chili tester on her blog My So-Called Vegan Life!
Congratulations to everyone who competed!! And the next time someone asks you how a vegan could ever survive deep in the heart of Texas... send them to the Lone Star Chili Cook-Off!

47 comments:

Stacey and Sergio said...

HECK YEAH! What a fun weekend! Thanks again for everything! :)

Tara said...

Congrats!!!! Your chili was yummy!! I loved how you served it with jalapeno cornbread. Cornbread and chili is the best combo!!

aTxVegn said...

Congratulations on winning 2nd prize! Your chili was excellent, and I wanted to try one of your treats but I got too full. You all were working so hard. I saw a quick shot of you and your booth on the local news!

Vegan Girl (Roni Seabury) said...

Wow 2nd place, that's super! It sounded so fun. I wish I could of been there.

kittee said...

dazee hates chilli, so i never make it, but it's one of my all time favorites. once i relocate a crock pot, i'm gonna make some. my favorite recipe includes homminy, roasted veggies and a chile sauce made from blended dry chiles instead of powder. mMMM.
nice job on second place!
xo
kittee

Vegyogini said...

Congrats on your 2nd place win! That cook-off looks like so much fun!

Amey said...

Hoorah!
Congrats on a strong finish. It sounds like such a super fun event. Although it also sounds like a TON of work. That gigantic mound of chili ingredients is seriously intimidating! Did you smell like Chili for days?

Foodeater said...

This is so awesome, congratulations!

Something about being inspected by the vegan police sounds kinda kinky and exciting to me ;)

Virginia said...

Congratulations! I wish there was something like that where I live! It looks like you had a blast!

VeggieGirl said...

NIIIICE!!! :-D

shellyfish said...

How cool! I'm so envious of your vegan community - I really need to find a way to make things happen here. Congrats on a very cool 2nd place!

Lauren said...

Congratularions! I wish we had a vegan chili cookoff in NJ! That's so awesome!

Tara said...

I've linked you now!! Does your society group have a website? I don't think we have a group like that in Dallas. I would love to get more info. I'm going to google for starters and see what I find.

Chrissy said...

congrats! 2nd place is awesome and your chili sounds delicious - though to be honest i am more interested in the cupcakes! :)

allularpunk said...

congratulations! that is totally cool that there is a vegetarian chili cookoff there... we have a chili fest in my town, but with very few veggie entries. i think i might enter next year!

anyway, this is right up my alley today, since i made chili and cornbread for dinner last night. yum!

twoveganboys said...

Congratulations on 2nd place. That is awesome.

jessica said...

Great photo! Those two signs together! Great job on winning second place. :)

(Makes a mental note to look for vegetarian chili contests in her neck of the woods.... neck of the cold woods....)

vegan addict said...

Hooray for Society of Peace and the 2nd place chili prize!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

HOOOORAY! What a great honor and how exciting to even be involved!! Way to go!!

jessy said...

wahooooooooooooo! hooray for second place! that rocks sooo hard! superhappyface! and congrats!

Ricki said...

Wow-congratulations! And those sweet treats look fabulous, too.

Sooo.. . . .do we get the recipe?? :)

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

That looks like such an awesome event!!! What a great idea for a contest! Congrats on second prize, too! :)

Kiersten said...

Congrats! I wish I could have been there to try some. A cook off sounds like fun.

Hannah said...

The fact that something like this even exists makes me so happy... and congrats on taking 2nd place! I'm convinced that you deserved 1st, though. ;)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Aww, congratulations! It sounds like an awesome event.

Holler said...

I really enjoyed your post Amanda! I am pleased that you won a placing. Well done! It sounds like a fun day all round. I wish I had been there :)

Melody Polakow said...

WOW! That is a high honor.. I wish I could try that chili...

Bianca said...

Sweet! Congrats on second place! I think I would just die of happiness at a veggie chili cook off...but what's with the Ham and Turkey sign? Did they mean veggie ham and turkey?

Vaala said...

That competition sounds amazing...such great spirit! And congratulations on your second prize. I'm now craving chili!

vegannifer said...

Congrats! A chili cook-off sounds like so much fun!

Becca said...

Wow! Sounds like a spectacular vegan event!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Congratulations! Sounds like it was a lot of fun!

River said...

Wow 2nd prize! Congratulations! The chili looks delicious and you all look like you were having an awesome time!

vegetalion said...

Congrats! I love seeing that pile of ingredients ^_^

Liz said...

Congratulations!!!

I entered a veg. chili in a (non-vegan) chili cook-off in Texas once and won "most creative". Ha!

Also, I tagged you for 7 weird facts about yourself! See blog...

Cookiemouse said...

Well done! Sounds like it was a great event.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! The fun and food in your pictures is something to cheer me up from thinking about the Supreme Court decision on sonar.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

So exciting! Congratulations!

I'm so impressed with an all vegan chili event!

Bert said...

Amanda,

Congratulations on the 2nd prize! Pretty good looking team too! I was happy to see that the vegan police ok'd the use of beans in the chili.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Why oh why do I have to be in dumb old school and therefore not get to go to such a fun event?! Even worse, why can't they have such a thing in Dallas??? I think I need to organize one... either that or move to Austin! Congratulations, Amanda! I wish I could've tasted it (and the pumpkin pie brownies!).

Bex said...

that looks like a lot of fun. Congratulations!

the little one said...

Your Society of PEACE is rocking and rolling! Go y'all!

Theresa said...

Mm, vegan chilli! And baked goods! What more is there to life?

Kristen4peace said...

This was an amazing and fun road trip! Who would have thought we'd pick up a trophy for our first time entering!?! We had a darn fine recipe, thanks to you! And a pretty cool team! : )

Vivacious Vegan said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you guys. Sounds like a fun event.

Are you going to share the recipe or are you keeping it a secret?

Ruby Red Vegan said...

oh wow, you won second place?!? awesome! but i am not the least bit surprised. congratulations!

madcapcupcake said...

Oh my gosh - you guys did an awesome job!! I wish I'd been there to fill up a plate or two with goodies!!