We won the Chili Cookoff!

Ryan, the man behind our victorious chili (shown here in June 2011)

Last Sunday was the annual Depot Town Chili Cookoff, an event which raises money for SOS Community Services, an organization devoted to ending homelessness.  This is the second year Harvest Kitchen has participated, and this year we were voted the best chili by the attendees.  We’re proud and honored to have been able to participate!

According to the organizers, over 200 people attended and they raised $1500 for SOS (the real winner).  For those who aren’t familiar with the event, six Depot Town restaurants made two chilis each (vegetarian and omnivore).  On Sunday participants walked to each restaurant to sample the chili and voted for the one they thought was the best.  We were competing against such luminaries as Sidetracks, Aubrees, The Ypsilanti Food Co-op, Corner Brewery, and Cafe Ollie.  I’m sorry to say I was too busy dishing out chili samples to 200 people to get any photos from the event — you’ll have to imagine dozens of participants squeezing themselves into Harvest Kitchen’s tiny front area, sampling chili, chatting, and enjoying the day.

Chef Ryan was the genius behind our two chilis. His concept was “Fire and Brimstone”–he created a

Ryan hard at work in September 2012...sorry no pics from the chili cookoff!

Fire-y Red Hot Vegetarian Chili and Blackened Beef Brimstone Chili.  I thought the concept was adorable and tasters responded well to both chilis–apparently the vegetarian chili was the only truly hot offering in the whole cookoff.  However it was the Brimstone Chili that won us the grand prize–it featured smokey flavors, black beans, and of course, our usual lean highland beef.  I’ll be asking Ryan to recreate this delicious dish for our members sometime soon…he’s really a creative cook and we’re honored to have him in our kitchen.

However, since we had chili on the menu just a few weeks ago, we’ve got other great things coming up for you this week:

Omnivore

Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry with Beef – This flavorful curry features delicious pumpkin, cauliflower from our freezer, and lean Highland beef from Mclaughlin Farms.  It’s not too spicy, but features a delicious blend of south Asian flavors that are sure to satisfy.  Served over brown rice. 

Jerk Chicken – Take a trip to Jamaica with our Jerk Chicken.  Locally grown Harnois chicken roasted and served in our homemade spicy jerk sauce.

Tasty Vegetable Soup– We wanted to celebrate all our amazing local vegetables in this delicious soup–we’ve got a remarkable assortment available at this time of year! Our chefs will make the final call, but this soup is likely to feature tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and more.

Southern Picnic Caviar – This unusual cold salad features delicious black eyed peas, peppers, and corn in a zesty Italian vinaigrette. An excellent pairing with any of this week’s mains.

Green Salad with House Dressing  — Our simple lettuce salad is a delicious treat in the depths of winter. Fresh flavors to brighten your day!

Vegetarian

Vegetarian Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry  – This flavorful curry features delicious pumpkin, cauliflower from our freezer, and more.  It’s not too spicy, but features a delicious blend of south Asian flavors that are sure to satisfy.  Served over brown rice.

Jerk Tofu with Mashed Veg – Marinated and roasted in our spicy homemade jerk sauce, this tofu will have you imagining a sunny day on a Jamaican beach.  We’re pairing it with a hearty serving of mashed vegetables to give heft to this main dish.

Tasty Vegetable Soup– We wanted to celebrate all our amazing local vegetables in this delicious soup–we’ve got a remarkable assortment available at this time of year! Our chefs will make the final call, but this soup is likely to feature tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and more. 

Southern Picnic Caviar – This unusual cold salad features delicious black eyed peas, peppers, and corn in a zesty Italian vinaigrette. An excellent pairing with any of this week’s mains.

Green Salad with House Dressing  — Our simple lettuce salad is a delicious treat in the depths of winter. Fresh flavors to brighten your day!

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