From now until the 2014 Chili Jamboree emcee cries "ladles IN!", we're profiling each contestant's uniquely-crafted chili.
- Last year's victor
Departure Restaurant & Lounge
Chili of the Incumbent Marathon Prince (our title)
Chili Jam 2013 victor Gregory Gourdet, executive chef of Departure, is on one of his globetrotting vacations at the moment (during which he is likely alternating ultra-marathons with nonstop 8-hour dance parties) and wasn't able to provide us with his recipe for this year. The turkey rendang chili with which he slew all comers last year was a rich, complex Indonesian stew garnished with signature Departure pops of sweetness and bright Asian herbs. His fellow competitors must be on the defensive when Gourdet mans the ladle, as he's a strong differentiator with a flavor vocabulary the size of the OED.
- Lily and Jonathan of Mississippi Ave's Radar.
Radar chef Jonathan Berube is back for another year, and this time he's mixing things up with a Pozole Verde "inspired by an old buddy in NYC." Is that buddy Bobby Flay? Is this the Pozole Verde that Donald Trump stews tableside for himself, at his private table high atop Trump Tower? They didn't say, because I didn't ask, but I like to imagine that both are true. Don't know Radar yet? Stop in for a drink afterward—they're literally next door to the contest, and their bar program is superb. Come back for dinner on a day when you're looking for small plates (which are secretly entree-size) of PNW excellence. It's one of the best dining options in the city.
A heartfelt thanks to our sponsors: Nicky USA, Jack Daniel's, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Daiya Vegan Cheese.