I attended a chili cook-off last Thursday. Celebrity chef and star of The Main on the Food Network, Anthony Sedlak, hosted the event. There were three finalist all with interesting delicious entries. Jennifer Zuk of Vancouver entered her Stout Yam Chili. She added sweet potatoes, corn, black beans and stout to her ground beef and went for heat with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It was colourful and delicious. Jag Singh of Toronto went for a real authentic Texas Chili with big chunks of beef in a thick, rich and spicy sauce. She used a combination of chilis and said her secret is a tablespoon of honey, which she says combats the indigestion! The winner of the chili challenge was Mike Callaghan of London, Ontario who smoked his own habanero peppers over apple wood chips, dehydrated them and created his own homemade spice mix. This chili packed a ton of heat! Here is a picture of Mike and his killer homemade habaneros. I'm sure everyone put Zantac, the chili challenge sponsor, to the test after this tasting! Here's is Anthony Sedlak's version of rib sticking chili: Ingredients: 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 1/2 lb beef chuck, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 Tbsp ground cumin 1 bottle dark beer 4 cups beef stock 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/2 lb smoked bacon, diced 1 medium Vidalia onion, diced 1/2 Poblano pepper, pith and seeds removed and finely diced 1/2 jalapeno pepper, pith and seeds removed and finely diced 1/2 red chili pepper, pith and seeds removed and finely diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp good quality dark baking chocolate, roughly chopped 1 Tbsp Ancho chili powder 1 Tbsp ground Cascabel chili powder 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp onion powder 1 bay leaf 398 ml can tomato sauce 1 cup water 1 tbsp chopped chipotle peppers in adobe sauce 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp hot sauce 14 oz can black bean, drained and rinsed (optional) Garnishes Sour Cream Green onions, chopped Aged white cheddar cheese, grated In a large ovenproof pot, brown beef in olive oil over medium high heat until it's well caramelized and crispy in places, with no remaining liquid in the pot. Next, season the beef generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add cumin then deglaze pot with beer. Allow beer to reduce until only a small amount of liquid remains. Add beef stock and Balsamic vinegar and reduce heat by half. Remove from heat and reserve. In a separate skillet, crisp bacon over medium high heat. Drain off excess bacon fat, leaving bacon in skillet. Add onions and caramelize until golden brown. Add poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper, red chili and garlic and saute until soft. Combine onion mix with beef mix and place back over medium heat. Add chocolate, Ancho powder, Cascabel chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder then mix well. Next add bay leaf, tomato sauce water, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire suce, and hot sauce. Mix well. Bring to a simmer then gently fold in beans if desired. Place pot uncovered into a preheated 350° oven for approximately 60-70 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, stir and allow chili to cool slightly. Adjust seasoning if desired. Serve in a deep bowl topped with a dollop of sour cream, chopped green onions and grated cheddar cheese, enjoy!