Lady Lex | 20 March 2014

It is an eternal question that plagues every kitchen: what makes a good #chilli? 

When Kettle & Tin host their Second Annual Chilli Cook Off to launch Brewsvegas, there will be at least seven answers to that #infernal(ly hot) catechism. 

Come Sunday March 23, Asa Boardman and Trent Goodwin will be opening Kettle & Tin’s Paddington backyard for local celebrity chefs, personalities and restaurants to #vie against each other for the title of grand Chilli Master. Kettle & Tin’s Executive Chef Frazer Henderson and e’cco’s comestible Pasha Philip Johnson will throw in their tastebuds to judge the best of the best, while the general public can also throw in their vote with a chilli token for purchase of $10 upon entry. A beer from Burleigh Brewing Co coming with that token just makes it all the sweeter. 

Anise, Statler & Waldorf, Super Whatnot, Padre Bar, Phoenix Beer, Cove Bar & Dining and Locanda Osteria & Bar will present their best chilli recipes. Wines from Craggy Range Winery will be onhand to slake that heat while Picklehead Pickles will keep things perky. The exotic taste for the day will undoubtedly be the Bloody Jerrys infused with fresh chilli and ginger beer thanks to Sailor Jerry and CAPI. Indeed, this will be a day for greatness.

Some description

As we know, chilli is a dish where everyone has their own secret recipe, and more often than not, these secret recipes include more chilli than is legally allowed. The all round (and grown up) preference to handle the heat comes with beer, and that beer has to be flexible to handle the heat, meat, beans, spices and whatever else chefs throw on top. While we’re sure there’s plenty of secrecy surrounding the recipes of this prestigious comp, My City Life has done a bit of digging and applied plenty of logic to come up with a few ideas on what to expect. 

While the Italian inspired Locanda Osteria & Bar from the M&A edifice is brand new and shiny to Brisbane, Locanda’s Executive Chef Daniel Jones is no stranger to producing sumptuous feasts. And as the new kid on the block, boundary lines can always be pushed to the limits. Their Cozze on the Locanda menu is an indication of the chilli gala ahead with Daniel's bias towards rich flavours quite telling.

Cove Bar & Dining’s Executive Chef Suwisa Phoonsang will no doubt be going all out. While their view and seafood is undeniably a draw card to this lovely eatery, it is the food that prompts you to stay. Cove’s chilli cooked prawns with chilli lime cocktail sauce and crispy pork belly are mere indications from the menu that Adam knows how to curate a top chilli recipe.

The food from the City’s Super Whatnot places emphasis on seasonal produce to showcase their menu inspired by the Americas.  And head chef Eduardo Barboza brings his Latin American traditions to the match, with his super chili dog, rasta chicken and burritos the stuff of urban legends. Noting that their craft beer card is especially paired to their menu, the expectations from this side of the river should reach boiling point.

Paddington’s Statler & Waldorf Gastronomy Pub are established authorities on upmarket pub food with especial attention on curating their food to matching their wines and beers. If their signature Victorian calamari fries with chilli sauce and recent South American Wines Dinner is anything to go by, chef Andrew Tolly will certainly be blistering.

While Anise took out the top hat in 2013, they’ll be reluctant to let go and instead, may go all out to retain their title. The French never do anything by halves, and while they may not be famous for their chilli, chef David Grant’s techniques and perfection in achieving balance in a dish just may again bring them out on top.

However, when it comes to clashes such as these, there will always be unknowns: and the dark horses in this comp will be from the beer boys, for as we noted, beer and chilli do go hand in hand.

Phoenix Beers have put years into understanding the history and quality of great beer. Padre in the Gabba are notorious for their pride in their craft beer menu, so if anyone knows how to pair beer and chilli, these sleepers just might be the ones to upset the chilli cart. 

But as know, this is all conjecture for only time will tell. Temperatures will soar, emotions will run high and the definitive winner: our tastebuds. Bring on the heat!

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