Steinbecks chili cook-off recap

“Well, we were second place winners last year,” Laura Pitts, member of the Bad Mommies chili team, said. “We stuck with our recipe from last year, however, we did double the bacon because why not double the bacon?”

Baylen Altizer

Steinbeck’s Ale House hosted their ninth annual chili cook-off on Nov. 21.

The event consisted of 30 teams who set up booths and cooking stations in Oakhurst, in the parking lot behind the bar. The West Hills Carpenters team won the judges choice for best chili, and the Bad Mommies team won the people’s choice for best chili.

Laura Pitts and the rest of the Bad Mommies came in second place last year, so they had a different plan for this year.

“We were second place winners last year, so we stuck with our recipe from last year. We did, however, double the bacon,” she said, “because why not double the bacon?”

Another team, called “Not J’s Chili” had less of a plan, but more of a reason behind it. They created their name because they wanted to be on another contestants, J’s, team for the three previous years.

“We have a chili that’s based on spite,” team member BJ Afeman said with a laugh. “Nobody else has a chili based on spite.”

“Spite is our spice,” Kevin Luczynski, another member of team “Not J’s Chili” added.

In its nine years the Steinbeck’s chili cook-off has grown to be much more than just a basic competition. Steinbeck’s General Manager and Chef Andy Gonzalez thinks that the cook-off has a positive and continued impact on the people of Oakhurst.

“The chili cook off has grown from a small gathering at a local pub to a community-wide party for the Oakhurst neighborhood,” he said. “Neighbors come together to compete and celebrate our small but tight-knit community.”