Hot times, hot chefs and a hot cause cooked up for Chili and Charros 2012

By Alexis White

Laissez les bon temps roulez VIP style, when gourmet chefs and world chili champions come together for the Sixth Annual International Chili Cook-Off (aka Chili and Charros)  for the benefit of the San Miguel Community Foundation. This is San Miguel’s largest, single-day fund-raising event.

Sixth Annual Chili & Charros Cook-Off, Benefit for San Miguel Community Foundation (SMCF), Sat, Jan 28, 1-8pm, Advance Sale 130 pesos/@ gate 150 pesos/under 10 free, Hotel Real de Minas,

Harry’s which put NOLA on Hidalgo Street has a few premium tickets (1,000 pesos) remaining for its VIP tent, which the restaurant is donating is donating, along with 100% of its VIP ticket and drink sales, to Chili and Charros. The tickets include entrance to the event; comfortable lounge areas and wait service; four free drinks in addition to 2-for-1 priced drinks during the rest of the day; boudin sausage, Cajun hot tamales and other free botanas a la Harry’s and gift bags containing a commemorative Talavera chili tasting bowl from San Gabriel of Dolores Hidalgo, a silver chili tasting spoon, and goodies from body and soul-soothing Ablu and Johfrej the chocolatier. VIP tickets can be bought at Harry’s (Hidalgo 12), Ablu (Cuna de Allende 15A), or by

This year’s judges include Monica Solis, who has cooked at the Vatican for El Papa and at the luxury boutique hotel Villa Maria Christina in Guanajuato; Jorge Boneta, the executive chef at Hotel Matilda; Montrachet-trained Donnie Masterton, executive chef at The Restaurant; Rurik Salazar, executive sous chef at Rosewood; Kirsten West, who introduced Mick Jagger to Mexican cuisine when she served as his private chef and served as Rick Bayless’s researcher and recipe tester for his many Mexican cookbooks, and Maria Angeles Sanchez of Restaurant Alborada, which the Boston Globe’s online edition calls the go-to place for authentic, reasonably priced Mexico food in San Miguel.

Free chili tasting (1-4pm) for event attendees promises to be a savory experience of champion proportions. Three CASI world champions in addition to the current reigning 2011 world champion, Larry Walton, will be among the 36 competing teams. Additionally, there are charros (cowboy/pinto bean) and margarita competitions. Chili, charros and even margarita recipes will compete in the People’s Choice “Best of” awards.

All Chili & Charros 2012 proceeds go to the San Miguel Community Foundation, which has provided financial support to dozens of charitable organizations in and around the city for more than 35 years.

In addition to free chili and charros, plus other foods and refreshments that are moderately priced, the event includes live music and dancing, a fashion show of one-of-a-kind denim jackets created by San Miguel artists and included in a unique silent auction, rodeo competitions, and plenty of activities for kids. Chili and Charros advance tickets ($130 pesos) are available at Longhorn Steakhouse, La Biblioteca’s Ticket Centro, and Casa de Vidrio (Correo 11). They will be 150 pesos at the gate. Cook-Off T-shirts, hotter than ever, are available online at 150 pesos. The price goes to 200 pesos at the event. For more information, go to:

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