Monday, August 27, 2001

Chili cook-off brings serious chefs to Newport

By Emily Biuso
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Sunday's downpour didn't dampen the taste buds of enthusiastic chili-tasters at the 2001 Kentucky state championship cook-off and car show.

        It was the 12th annual event sponsored by and benefiting the Buenger Boys and Girls Club, but for the first time it was held on Riverboat Row in Newport.

        For festival-goers, it was an opportunity to view more than 200 custom cars and sample chili. But for the chefs, it was serious business.

        The winners of the two chili competitions — chili and chili verde, a green chili — advance to the International Chili Society World Championship in Reno, Nev., where the top prize is $25,000.

        Al Garnick, a chili judge who is also deputy coroner for Campbell County, said he was looking mostly for texture and taste. But after almost 20 years of chili-cooking, Mr. Hoover has an idea of what makes a cook a winner:

        “It's luck.”


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