Spicing things up at the Main Street Steamboat 13th annual Chili Challenge | SteamboatToday.com

Spicing things up at the Main Street Steamboat 13th annual Chili Challenge

Competition heats up this weekend with Mainstreet Steamboat's 2017 Chili Challenge.

Briskets are roasted, tomatoes diced and chilies sliced as the finishing touches are made to recipes in the running to win the 13th annual Chili Challenge.

Whether passed down from family memory or crafted on a whim, this year's Chili Challenge recipes will feature 15 varieties, ranging in style and flavor from red, green, white and even vegetarian.

Arrive hungry, as the tasting will be open to the public at 11 a.m. and continue until the chili is gone. Judging for the People's Choice award ends at 2:30 p.m., with awards starting at 2:45 p.m. The event will take place on Yampa Street adjacent to the Farmers Market. Sampler kits are $10, with proceeds benefiting Main Street Steamboat and funding Christmas events, such as Light up the Night, Santa's Study and more.

Live music will be provided by Trevor G. Potter, Walt and the 'Ol 37s and Worried Men.

"It's such a nice way to ring in the fall season, and it's about celebrating the community we live in while supporting your favorite chili recipes or restaurant," said Lisa Popovich, executive director of Main Street Steamboat.

Competitors had to apply to be in the challenge and specify which category they wanted to be in. For the challenge, competitors are required to bring their own materials to set up the booths and food. Speaking of food, each competitor faces the challenge of preparing about 15 gallons of chili.

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Though competitors were reluctant to share any secrets, they did reveal what patrons should prepare their taste buds for.

Steamboat Smokehouse

Recipe: Matt's Red Brisket Chili and Kyle's Roasted Poblano Pork Green Chili

Prepare taste buds for: The flavors in each made-from-scratch recipe cause heat to dissipate in the mouth after taking a bite.

Recipe factoid: "These recipes have some heat but one that doesn't stick around to the point where it would wreck your taste buds," said Kyle Love, owner of Steamboat Smokehouse. "You want it to have a nice pairing with whatever else you're having."

Steamboat BräuHaus

Recipe: All My EX's Live in Texas, a red chili, and the famous BräuHaus Cornbread

Prepare taste buds for: The Texas red chili is protein-packed, with 30 pounds of beef brisket, eight pounds of bacon and a smattering of tomatoes and seasoning. The cornbread is prepared from a sweet-styled f Southern recipe that Alan Koermer said pairs well with the hearty Texas chili.

Recipe factoid: "This is my personal favorite that I've been making for my family for years," said Barry Gruis, owner of the BräuHaus. "It pays homage to Texas but also melds a German influence from the Oktoberfest beer we use in it."

What you won't expect: "The chili has a nice kick to it — sprinkle the cornbread on top or bottom to compliment both tastes," Koermer said.

Dude and Dan's

Recipe: Smoked Brisket Red Chili, Pulled Pork Green Chili and Olathe Corn Salsa

Prepare taste buds for: "Natural quality ingredients," said Brandon Pfaff, owner of Dude and Dan's. "These recipes are made from years of recipe testing."

Recipe factoid: The pulled pork for the green chili is prepared through the course of a three-day process with New Mexico chilies, and the red chili adds a balance of flavors from the slow-cooked beer, coffee and smoked brisket. The salsa features herbs such as Mexican sage and Colorado sweet corn.

Routt County Cattlewomen

Recipe: Champions Red Chili and Great Beef Red Chili

Recipe factoid: "We mixed all the chilies that our members make, mix them together and then add ingredients and taste until we feel we have it right," said Mary Kay Monger, of the Routt County Cattlewomen.

What you won't expect: The recipe is different each year. It's close, Monger said, but they usually try a new ingredient each year.

Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill

Recipe: Colorado Bison Red Chili

Prepare taste buds for: Fresh dried chilies, including oaxaca, guajillo and ancho. There will also be a taste of the brewery's brown ale.

 Recipe factoid: Instead of using chili powder or chipotle powder, chef Jason Salisbury said they use the fresh chilies and smoked chilies for flavor.

 What you won't expect: The recipe is made with ground bison meat, which is a leaner meat than beef.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@steamboattoday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

If you go

What: Main Street Steamboat’s 13th annual Chili Challenge

When: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9

Where: Yampa Street, adjacent to the Farmers Market


Be on the lookout for:

First time competitors

Salt & Lime: Chef Chad Whitaker’s Smokey Colorado Chili, a hearty Mexican-style brisket chili with a smoky twist and a Roasted tomatillo-style salsa.

Seen at the Farmer’s Market:

Need More Salsa, is a well-known vendor at the Farmer’s Market who will enter three of her signature salsas: “Mild!” “Hot!” and “Sneaky!”

Back again:

Cantina: Famous Pork Green Chili and House Salsa

Carl’s Tavern: Green Chili and Cornbread (topped with jalapenos and cheese).