Pop culture is chock-full o’ chili incidents. My two favorite, so far: the sliced-off finger in Wendy’s chili, which has us forever looking for fingernails despite its turning out to be the wickedest lie ever told (and yet still I count this as a favorite chili moment); and the episode of The Simpsons in which Homer eats a magical pepper in the Springfield Chili Cook-Off and spins into a spiritual hallucination. Both events are testaments to the cultural significance of chili. As if there was ever any doubt.
- Silver State Regional Chili Cook-Off
- June 6. Cooking begins at 10 a.m.
- Tastings from noon-5 p.m.
- $5 for tastings, $35 entry fee for chefs.
- The Village at Lake Las Vegas.
A new moment in chili history—a more palatable one, to be sure—is set for the Village at Lake Las Vegas this weekend at the International Chili Society’s 2009 Silver State Regional Chili Cook-Off. Contestants will battle it out in Red Chili, Chili Verde and Salsa categories, which require that chefs add no beans or pasta or other carbs that purists consider a distraction from meat and hot peppers. But for the final category, the People’s Choice Award, anything goes. Except fingers.