The leaves are changing colour, and the weather is cooling down in Edmonton. Fall is the perfect time of the year to dig into a bowl of piping hot chili that is sure to warm up your soul. Our Edmonton team took it to the next level and organized the very first of many Creative Door Annual Chili Cook-Offs this past week. Our competitors brought their A-game, and our staff got to experience an assortment of chilis with a variety of toppings and sides.

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Chili 101

The origin of the humble chili is debatable, but sources date back to the early 1600s when a Spanish nun, Sister Mary of Agreda, a pious woman who never left the four walls of her convent, had out-of-body experiences where she would go into prolonged trances and transport herself across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Native People of America. It was on return from one of these “trips” when she noted down the recipe for Chili Con Carne, a harmonious blend of tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and meat, that she supposedly learned from the Native tribes. Sure, this tale may raise a few eyebrows, but this delicious combination of spices, veggies, and meat that is stewed for hours to develop flavour has evolved with time resulting in numerous recipes now floating about the internet.

The Chili Showdown

Creative Door’s Edmonton team had a total of 11 chili recipes up for tasting which ranged from mild to fiery hot. The halls of the office were filled with the aroma of warm chili wafting through the air and making our stomachs gurgle and mouths water in hunger. Toppings and sides included crunchy tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and soft bread to mop up the remnants in the bowls. Team members lined up to fill their bowls with the various chili recipes and made sure to taste each one and cast their votes.

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The crockpots were numbered to be anonymous, and fair votes were cast by the tasters. A ballot box was placed by the judges’ table wherein tasters could cast their votes for their top three choices of the best chili at Creative Door.

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Our panel of judges was eager to get tasting and took their time to taste each bowl and pick favourites. Contestants were judged for flavour, texture, and balance and, needless to say, no contestant disappointed. A fan favourite was chosen apart from the top three winners as well.

The Prize Winners

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The top three winners were awarded various prizes including date night tickets to the movies, gift cards to local restaurants, and portable battery bank chargers. To top it all off, the delightful warm lunch was concluded with ice cream for all! It was a fun and satiating lunch break at Creative Door Edmonton. Everyone returned to their desks with a full tummy and eager to participate in next year’s Chili Cook-Off. We expect more participants and bigger prizes at the next Chili Cook-Off and, who knows, maybe our other Creative Door locations might also get in on the fun and excitement!