In preparation for this weekend’s annual Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off (which includes an all-you-can-taste salsa sampling and a massive beer tasting), the traditional pre-cook-off Golden Spoon judging took place Tuesday, May 15 at Rosen’s 256 North restaurant.
A spicy preliminary to the popular spring cook-off event – taking place Saturday afternoon, May 19, at the Petaluma Fairgrounds – the Golden Spoon contest allows chili-cooking competitors to be tasted and judged by a distinguished panel, who will announce their decision during on Saturday. In addition, the chefs are also competing to win the People’s Choice judging during the four-hour chili, salsa and beer extravaganza. The same recipes tasted by the panel of judges on Tuesday will be available on a vast scale during the cook-off.
The event, as always, is a significant fundraiser for numerous youth programs at Cinnabar Theater. The company’s Young Repertory group is currently staging a production of the effervescent musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” featuring such songs as “Put on a Happy Face,” “Kids,” and “One Last Kiss.” Money raised during the chili cook-off support the highly popular local program.
On the day of the Golden Spoon judging, chefs delivered their spicy concoctions at 1 p.m. and the panel began tasting at 2 p.m. According to Cinnabar’s Executive Director, Diane Dragone, about 20 submissions were in competition.
“The judges had a great time tasting,” she said.
This year’s panel included Corrine Asturias of the Press Democrat, Brewster’s Beer Garden owner Chris Beerman, and chili-lovers Mark Yuwiler and Dennis Wigent.
PLAN TO GO?
WHAT: The Great Petaluma Chili Cook-off, Salsa & Beer Tasting
WHEN: Saturday, May 19, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Petaluma Fairgrounds
ADMISSION: All-you-can-taste chili & salsa tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids 5-12; All-you-can-taste chili & salsa + 10 beer-tasting tickets is $30. Purchase tickets at the gate.
INFORMATION: All the spicy details can be found at GreatChiliCookoff.com. Info on ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ at CinnabarTheater.com.