Jon Doody is man who is undeniably passionate about Chillies, there’s no doubt about that. But his specific passion is cooking Chilli and Chilli Cook offs. This is a staple activity in the US and has been for ages. Jon has now set up the UK Chilli Cook-off Association.
We in the UK are somewhat new to the scene but Jon is doing his best to change things. There are a few UK teams now who compete at the likes of Grillstock and take things very seriously indeed. One such team is the Royal Q Pit Crew headed up by Steve Heyes, these guys have got a formidable reputation already.
Now, if you are thinking that cooking a Chilli in a competition is simply a case of just throwing in some mince, tomatoes and chilli powder, then you are wrong. Things are a lot more technical and the ingredients lists are usually somewhat longer and each teams recipe is a closely guarded secret!
I was able to witness the 1st Upton Cheyney Chilli Cook- off this year and was very impressed by the effort put in by the teams, even down to the costumes worn and the displays at each teams stand.
I think I am right in saying the 1st event was organised by Jon was the Reading Chilli Cook-off which was a resounding success and now we have the UK Association to spread the Chilli love to all corners of the country.
One key thing to point out is, although the competition is serious, it is done in a fun atmosphere as is the case with the Chilli industry and also will continue to raise lots of money for charity as spoons are sold at events for the public to sample a Chilli once the Judges sample has been taken with the procedes going to various charities.
Jon’s plans are to have regional events going on in the UK and there are already events planned for 2013 including;
North East Chilli Cook- off – 7th July (Part of North East Chilli Fest)
The Great Dorset Chilli Cook- off - 18th July (Part of the Great Dorset Chilli Festival)
The 2nd Upton Cheyney Chilli Cook- off – 14th September (Part of the 5th Upton Cheyney Chilli Festival)
So you can visit the UK Association website and register a team ahead of any competitions you may like to enter next year, you can follow developments via twitter @UKChilliCookOff or on facebook here : http://www.facebook.com/UKChilliCookOffAssociation
There is no doubt that Jon has a passion for cooking Chilli and we are going to see a lot of him next year.