The Chili Cooks

Holy moly folks. Check out the competition. Reading about these chilis these, all I can think about is chili now! Each cook-off ticket holder will get to taste all the chilis, eat cornbrad, will get 5 votes to disperse amongst the chili contestants as they see fit, so pick up your ticket today.

Chili: El Fin Del Mundo
Cook: Eric Cochrell
Spice Level: ***
About Eric: Eric is a prep cook at Ocho in Ballard and is aspiring to be a vegan chef (check out his Veg Chorizo that he developed at Ocho). He races road bikes (for Team Becher+) and when he makes time, he draws and paints. He is from Sacremento and hanges out with his cats, Lucifer and RZA. About his chili: El Fin Del Mundo is loaded with Mexican flavor and aromatics. I want Seattle to taste what growing up in Southern California is like in a chili. The ingredients are simple; my secret will come through in the stock, with balanced acidity and sweetness. This is soy and gluten free. Although, I will have chips on the side for authenticity purposes.

Chili: Leftist Texan Poetic Chili
Cooks: Holly & Oliver Girouard
Spice Level: **.5
About Holly and Oliver: Oliver is 7 and loves to cook. He has been vegan his entire life, and is a popular animal activist in Seattle. I am from all over Texas. But have been here long enough to call myself a local, living in NE Seattle. I cook a lot. Whole foods, healthy-like. My mother was my vegan cooking hero. Her food made memories for so many people. I dare say my cooking sometimes approaches my mother's greatness. My passion for justice and awe of all creatures keeps me easily and loudly vegan. About their chili: Being born and raised in Texas, I grew up on chili. Everybody had a secret chili recipe. I found my chili voice at a young age, sampling some of the best from my mother and grandmother, and adding my own flair due to becoming a vegetarian. While my chili leans left, you will notice a distinctive down-home authenticity to it's base flavor that may even cause you to forget your politics.

Chili: Grandma's Chili Gone Vegan!
Cook: Haley Wens (aided by hiding kitten)
Spice Level: *
About Haley: I'm Haley from Seattle! I live in the amazing Capitol Hill. I went vegetarian my freshman year of college, and made the switch to veganism in my senior year. Why? For the animals! I was a terrible and lazy cook until I made the switch. Now I'm a label-reading, ingredient-obsessed, conscious cooker! Besides cooking up, I like playing sports, going out with my girlfriends, and working at my amazing job. I'm really just your vegan girl next door! About her chili: Grandma's Chili Gone Vegan! mixes the sweetness of maple syrup with the spiciness of pepper sauce, a small hint of the strong yet warm taste of cumin. This ingredient combination is the secret behind Grandma's. The sweetest of all of course is the cruelty-free twist on a recipe that originated as a meat dish. When my grandma passed away, her spirit lived on in her chili recipe that my mother adopted to share with her friends and family. Now I have not only adopted aspects of the recipe, but have adapted it to cater to those conscience of health, environment, and animal compassion! It's a third generation recipe that just keeps getting better! This chili will knock your hemp-cotton socks off!

Chili: JBot's Muddled Brains Chili
Cook: Jennifer Ritchey
Spice Level: **
About Jennifer: Originally from middle of nowhere PA, now residing in Capitol Hill, I love cooking anything and everything vegan. Besides cooking I love to travel and try out the local vegan food - the first thing I do when going somewhere whether for the weekend or many weeks is scope out the food there. My husband makes fun of the fact that I will have planned out where we are eating and not much else. We also do a lot of couch-surfing, both hosting and surfing. I love it as we get to meet amazing people from all over the world! I also love being outdoors – hiking and camping and backpacking in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. About her chili: Besides tasting amazing, my chili looks amazing! Probably the most visually appealing chili you will ever see. One not-so secret ingredient is all it takes - a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, completely amazing. Through trial and error I have perfected my chili recipe.

Chili: Satan's spicy Seitan Chili
Cook: Jessie Fossmo
Spice Level: ***.5
About Jessie: I'm a transplant to Seattle from the blustery tundra of Minneapolis, Minnesota where I perfected my chili cooking skills out of necessity to keep warm through the long cold winters. I like to cook a little bit of everything but am partial to modifying my childhood midwestern favorites to make them tastier and vegan. If it can go in a casserole dish I'm in love with it. I'm also partial to Asian cooking as well. I can bake up a storm! I live and work in the University District, surrounded by tasty vegan treats! I work at Deep Roots Tattoo and Body Piercing helping make people shiny and colorful! My vegan cooking heroes are of course the lovely Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I have an amazing Persian rescue kitty named Princess Mochi Chan. She is an ewok. About her chili: My chili is chunky, hearty and substantial. You might want to eat it with a fork. The recipe was originally sort of a stew like food that morphed into a vegan chili miracle. If I had to call it a style of chili I would have to call it ""Roadhouse"" style in honor of the late Pat Swayze, who I am certain would have loved my chili after a long hard day of laying down the law or practicing questionable dance moves. You want to taste my chili because it is made with love, dreams and wishes. It has also been blessed by both a unicorn and a druid. Fun Fact: One pot of this chili once fed my super manly boyfriend for almost a whole week!

Chili:Ch-ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb Chili con Par-tay
Cook: Kirby C. Johnson
Spice Level: ****
About Kirby: I am from here. I like to cook because I like to eat. I keep things runnin smooth on First Hill. I prefer to remain a mystery. Some cooking heroes I look up to are: 1) The skilled craftspeople at The Globe (RIP) 2) The dudes/dudettes that invented such miracles as tofu, peanut butter, and soup 3) and whoever made the fake chicken salad sandwiches that I ate at Atlas in NYC. I ate two, then bought a 3rd and ate it soon after. When the gravy cook-off comes, I'll take that prize too. About his chili: I am making a chili that is going to knock peoples socks off. It will be spicy. It will be a labor of love. It's gonna be so good you won't have a choice but to do a food dance after you taste it. Nothing canned and nothing planned. I'm too much of a rule breaker to follow a recipe. Maybe.

Chili: JoJo Yummy-Pants Chili
Cook: Kristy Gale
Spice Level: * *
About Kristy: I’m originally from Michigan, but I’ve wanted to live in the northwest ever since I can remember. I currently reside in Capitol Hill. I’m a librarian, a cat aficionado, a vinyl collector, a new devotee to karaoke, a Rain City Rock Camp for Girls volunteer, reader of teen literature, Indian food connoisseur, music lover. I love cooking for a variety of reasons: 1. I get to choose the ingredients, so I know what I’m eating and I try to cook with whole organic foods, as well as local whenever possible. 2. Sometimes I have a hard time finding restaurants that feature tasty and flavorful vegan food, so I get to experiment with flavor and ingredients to ensure that the food I make is yummy. 3. I enjoy turning on my omnivore friends to a vegan diet and showing them how delicious and filling vegan food can be. 4. I love to eat my food and I take pleasure in others eating it and enjoying it as well.  About her chili:  I don’t have a witty description, but I truly believe that my chili will win on taste alone. It’s a thick hearty and delicious savory chili with a touch of sweetness. There’s one ingredient that always seems to surprise people and adds a unique flavor. I entered it in a cook-off at work and it tied for first place with buffalo chili. All ingredients are organic!

Chili: Not Yo Mama's Chili
Cooks: Lindsey Douglas & Candice Cannedy 
Spice Level: ****.5
About Lindsey and Candice: Neighborhood: Lake City. Hobbies: Play video games, Cook, Read, Write, Sew, Go to college, work,  go to Rat City Roller girl derby bouts, eat at our favorite vegan restaurants/try out new ones. About their chili: First off this Chili is HOT. Only the bravest can stomach this chili, but there's more to it then just being a spicy chili. It's got a sweet hickory smoked BBQ sauce in it, 4 different types of beans, a variety of hot peppers, hot sauces, and a tomato/vegetable broth base. When I became vegan I missed having a delicious spicy chili, so I modified/combined different chili recipes. All of my friends LOVE my chili. Even those who can't handle too much spice. It has so many flavors in it that work well together.

Chili: New Mexico Green and White 'Chicken' Chili
Cook: Martha R Miller-Hall
Spice Level: ***
About Marti: From Puyallup. Been vegan for 8 years- I ABSOLUTELY love to cook vegan, especially for friends, family and skeptics, I'm a Special Education teacher and work part time in a bookstore AND am Mom to three wonderful girls in real life. I do the whole vegan-cooking-recipe blog thing, blah-blah-blah...About her chili: No secret ingredients, nothing too spectacular, just some genuine Hatch, New Mexico fire-roasted green chiles, and some genuine fake chicken.

Chili: Chili Night, Hot Bowl

Cook: Nannette Minley
Spice Level: *
About Nannette: I'm a recently transplanted Phoenician (Arizonan sounds dumb) and I love it here so much. I actually moved up here to start a vegan and gluten-free cupcake cart! So, that's what I do. I make cupcakes! I also blog and sing a ton. Cooking and baking are a huge part of my life and I'd have to say making vegan and gluten-free pancakes is my favorite pass time. Seriously, I could make them forever.  About her Chili: This chili will make your heart skip a beat. I tried to frown when I was eating this, and it simply was not possible. Black beans are amazing in chili and so this combination was a must for me. I based this recipe off one I found on the internet quite a while ago. I really think you'll love it. Really, try to frown with a bite in your mouth. See if you can do it. Also, you should vote for it to win, because everyone loves chili and everyone loves smiling.

Chili: Mictlantecuhtli Chili
Cook: Peter Keller
Spice Level: *****+
About Peter: For all the vegan cookbooks I have I hardly use them. I cook on the fly, throwing open all the cupboards and the fridge and creating something with what's there. If anything I've learned to be resourceful and creative in my cooking. Ask me for a recipe of anything I've made and you may be out of luck; often times I'm in another plane and may not know myself what I've done. About his chili: Mictlantecuhtli is the Aztec god of death. There will be chocolate. There will be chipotle. And there will be pain. It is a recipe of my own creation and it will bring you through the nine hells of Mictlan into the Underworld. You will vote for my chili because you will not remember anything else.

Chili: Hot 'n Smokey Goodness
Cooks: Renee Hunter & Amy Baskerville
Spice Level: ***+
About Renee & Amy: Renee and Amy are Seattleites who stay close to the city on Capitol Hill and Leschi. What do we do besides cook chili? Eat chili. (And win beauty pageants). About their chili: Our chili is more than amazing, its fanfreakingtastic. Fully of smokey flavor and just enough spice to make you feel like a dynamo.  This chili is the most tastable, most lovable and most belly-burnable because of a blend of sweetness, spice and smoke that will make you want to cuddle your bowl.

Chili: No One Suffered For My Pleasure Chili
Cook: Traci Wilson
Spice Level: *+ (kid friendly)

About Traci: Born and raised in Southern California I cooked with and for my single mom and then for my own family for many years. I have come to believe the vegan (and raw) lifestyle is the healthiest way to live and am in the process of healing from seven chronic conditions using food and nutritional supplements. We moved to Redmond, Washington in September of 2010 so I am new here and hope to become a part of the vegan community and thought this would be a good way to get to know some people. I am also a crafter and do a bit of writing. I have a son who is 25 and just became vegetarian again recently and my daughter is 19 and has never eaten red meat and quit all other meats when she was 12. We've never looked back. I love knowing that "Nothing suffers for my pleasure". Thanks for voting for my chili!!  About her chili: Being a single mom for many years I had to come up with something that was tasty to both me and my kids and that was affordable and filling. People will love and vote for my chili because to me this is comfort food at its best...healthy...deliciously satisfying...affordable...and kind. Most people think of red chili when they hear "chili contest" but mine is different because it is green creamy luscious decadence!

Chili: Spicy Drunken Chili with Pipin' Hot Cornbread Waffles
Cook: Tracey Freel
Spice Level: ***

About Tracey: Affectionately known as Freef, and many variations thereof, my 6th love in this world is food (preceded only by my wonderful fella, two dogs, and two cats). I love food. I love eating food. And I learned from an early age that tasty food brings people together; some of my fondest memories involve family, friends, and food. As a child, you would never find me in my room with an Easy Bake oven, but you would find me on a chair at the counter by my mother's side, ever-so-carefully making criss-cross patterns with a fork in homemade peanut butter cookies. Meals with extended family were always a carefully-planned event and, inevitably resulted in more food than anyone could eat. The saying in our family: if there isn't any left, you didn't make enough; and if there are leftovers, no one liked it. It was a mind-boggling statement to me as a child and a sentiment that I could never reconcile. Frankly, it's not a riddle that I ever care to solve because it is deeply engrained ideas like that, and other fond food-memories, that spawned a lifelong love affair with cooking.  About her chili: Spicy Drunken Chili is a vegan take on a true Texas chili. That is, it has no beans. As a non-vegan, I like to challenge myself and stretch my cooking abilities to make tasty food for my vegan friends that isn't riddled with "fake." Instead of using beans and soy-based fake meat, I wanted to take a pure and creative approach to my vegan chili, and use fresh ingredients that aren't simply manufactured as vegan. At the same time, I wanted to hold as true as possible to Texas chili (meat aside, natch), and create a no-bean, spicy chili. Oh, and I like booze, so I threw in some of that for good measure. If the taste of chili heaven with all the proper fixins isn't enough to get your vote, surely the homemade cornbread waffles that I'll be making right in front of your face to serve the chili on top of will get your vote.