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The Heat Is Off

Coof-off fans like their chili a little spicy, not intestine-wrecking hot.


Closing Room bartender Mike Aybar defends his title today as top chef at the club’s fifth annual Chili Cook-Off. If you’re competing, you may want to tone down the spices -- especially if you want to beat Aybar’s popular beef, pork, and lamb combo. “Everybody likes a little zing to their chili,” says Scott Anderson, the bar’s owner. “But if you make it too hot, nobody’s going to eat it.”

Last year’s entries included chili loaded with elk, boar, and caribou meat, and at least one variety was sweetened with cocoa powder and cinnamon. “You wouldn’t think it, but sweet and hot go together,” says Anderson. “It’s very vogue right now.”
Sat., Jan. 13, 3 p.m.

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