Not the first won’t be the last, but I was 3rd, that’s right, I entered a chili cookoff, and took home third place. I decided, after being invited numerous times to finally enter the Buena Vista Saloon chili cookoff. This was the 32nd year, and the largest turnout yet, with over 40 entries.
The Buena Vista Saloon is located just outside of Jackson CA. It’s a small bar/steakhouse, family owned and operated, and it does serve some beer. In a place where nearly everyone refers to craft beer as, “The Dark Beer”, having very little else than the big three available, they have managed to keep my discriminating taste buds happy. Don’t expect a huge variety, but many mexican beers and a couple of craft brews can be had.
The contest was little more than an excuse for me to go to a bar, since having made chili only four times previous. There was a band playing some classic rock, and some blues, and they weren’t half bad, three cool cats from around the area calling themselves “Elektra Road”. After a few frosties and some fine tequila, they even got some folks dancing.
I took everything in stride and was very pleased with the outcome, My buddy Lance made a far superior chili, in my opinion, and didn’t even place. I even had to laugh a little at the trophy, instead of having,”32nd annual”, it actually says,”32st annual”, aside from this minor detail, I am very proud of it. I also got two free dinners from,”El Torero”, restaurant in Martell, one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. I think I was more stoked on the free food than anything else, really good food, great service and a killer tequila selection.
But the best part of it all was a phone call I received later that evening. I have experimented with four different beers while trying to perfect the chili, this time I used, Walker’s Reserve from the fine folks at Firestone Walker. Yeah yeah yeah, I can hear some of you poo pooing my choice, but seriously, with a beer as fine as that how could I refuse. I called Danny Fullpint and told him the news, and right after I hung up, I got a call from Matt Brynildson, the FW brewmaster. To me that’s like winning the Super Bowl and getting a call from the President. Like I’ve been saying for years the people at FW are just GREAT!
So I’d like to thank Danny Fullpint for being a taste test guinea pig, and a HUGE thanks to Matt and the brew team at Firestone Walker, and of course a shout out to my main man Jonny Fullpint. I know it was only third place, but you gotta start somewhere.