It may have been dreary and cold, but the 20 restaurants and many amateur chili makers showed up strong yesterday at the 4th Annual Joy Chili Cook Off. The event took place in the parking lot located behind the 6th Avenue wine and liquor store. Some of Denver's top restaurants from Fruition to Table 6 and Mizuna competed for the best tasting chili.
A panel of judges composed of chef Jon Robbins of Bistro Barbes, Lori Midson of Zagat, and Eater Denver editor Andra Zeppelin ranked Cafe Brazil, Mizuna, and Balisteri Winery as the top three. In the people's choice, Balisteri came in first, followed by Euclid Hall and Table 6.
Cafe Brazil, the judges' top pick, seems to be dominating this event year after year: It came in third last year and took the 1st place the year before. Its deeply flavored chili featured small pieces of squash, irresistible hints of cilantro, and texturally pleasing pieces of cheese.