Chili Cook-Off Brings Spice to ASU

Jessica Palacio
The Paw Print

Saturday morning saw the culmination of this year’s Autumn @ Adams with the annual Chili Cook-Off. With a beautiful cloudless day, the event kicked off late Saturday morning on the campus’ north green right in front of the football stadium.
For the low price of three dollars AS&F and community members were given the chance to taste and vote on a wide variety of green chili, red chili and salsas and if you were not there then you most defiantly missed out on a spicy and tasty event.
Among this year’s contestants was 4-year reining champion of the green chili contest Justin Atencio. Atencio and his assistants came prepared this year and were entered in all three categories and ready to go for a fifth win. Next to his table of chili Atencio proudly displayed his awards from past chili cook-off from around the valley, a slightly intimidating display to those competitors and would be tasters of his famous green chili.
Atencio said, “A lot of love” is the secret to his green chili, but it seems that there is a lot of spice and heat in with that love.
In a surprising upset Atencio’s reign as green chili champion of Autumn @ Adams ended as he was defeated by Jo White.  White’s chili lacked the intense heat of Atencio’s but had great flavor that appears to have won the judges over.  While Atencio was unable to claim any of the first place titles this year he did take second in both the salsa and green chili categories.
This year’s red chili contest was taken by returning champion Esther Lopez.   While this is not the exact same recipe that she used last year, Mrs. Lopez is confident in the small tweaks she has made since last year.
By making small changes to the recipe over the years Lopez is turning this red chili into a family recipe that she has passed on to the younger generations and as a two time winner here at the Autumn @ Adams cook off there is obviously something to be said for Lopez’s red chili.
What is her secret? According to Mrs. Lopez it all has to do with the chili powder you start with.  As such she makes the drive down to Espanola to a place called Romero’s to purchase her red chili powder.  After that she says it is all about the chili’s natural flavor and letting it do the work.  And the results have spoken, the chili has lead Mrs. Lopez to another victory.  David Mize took second place in the category, and third by the Model UN team at ASU represented by Valerie Gsoell and Dr. Mari Centeno.
The salsa competition was taken by Mrs. Maria Valdez, with second taken by Justin Atencio (as mentioned above), and third was solidly claimed by Mildred Mondragon. Mrs. Mondragon also claims the third place title for the green chili and the prize for best decorated table.
While there was a whole lot of chili and salsa to be tried, there was also a plethora of other foods provided by various ASU clubs. Quesadillas, fry bread, watermelon and ice cream were just a few of the items to be found lining the campus green.
Other fun activities to be found were the children‘s watermelon seed spitting contest. Split into two age groups, 10 and under and 11 to 17, both winners were marked at an impressive distance of over twenty feet.
For the adults, those who were very brave that is, there was the jalapeño eating contest. Thirteen brave souls signed up for the chance to win the $50 prize.
The rules were as follows, contestants were given one minute to eat their first jalapeño, and after the one minute mark contestants had two minutes to eat as many of these spicy little green peppers as possible.
The contest winner managed an impressive eleven jalapenos, while others barley made it passed the three pepper mark. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet