One of the most anticipated events on a New York “chili head’s” calendar is the annual Chilifest at Chelsea Market, hosted by Dickson’s Farmstand Meats and The Cleaver Company. Some of New York’s best restaurants, not generally known for serving chili, compete in a giant chili cook off, with dry-aged local beef provided by Wrighteous Organics.
Barbara Sibley from La Palapa in the East Village took home this year’s Golden Chili Mug, with a more than respectable pot of chili that we definitely dubbed the hottest. But that might be because we asked for extra habanero on ours.
We wandered the 800-foot long chili concourse to sample the action, drink some beer and ask the restaurants for their secret stratagem for winning the title. Roberta’s served up a pot of one of our favorites where the Bushwick pizzeria put their oven to good use. They roasted poblanos, jalapenos, serranos and anaheims at over 1,000 degrees. Delicious burn! Fette Sau sent a crew who looked like they might cut us with a giant pot of smoky, spicy goodness – they smoked their own meat, of course.
Gramercy Tavern was in the house and they took that Wrighteous Organic beef and added more meat, including some tongue. It was hands down the meatiest of the bunch. Shanna Pacifico rejoined her Back Forty team and added some pork belly to her beef, the woman knows her way around a pig. And hot dog experts from Bark in Park Slope took their chili dog chili and jazzed it up with extra poblano and house-pickled jalapenos. We were skeptical, but it totally worked. Check out all the action below: