All 30 chilis in competition were wildly different. Whether your preference is for ground meat or chunks, pinto beans or kidney, fresh chilies or powdered, your bases were covered.
Everything but the Kitchen Sink
Brian Gross and Marissa Kakoulas' Brooklyn 200 Chili featured bison, wild boar, shrimp, beef, veal, and pork.
Chili Cup Carne
Rick Simmons' Chili Cup Carne was an idealized campfire chili.
Pyramids of Chili
One enthusiastic Chili fanatic managed to balance all 30 chilis on just two plates.
Guests very closely inspecting their samples.
Ghost Chili Sauce
Melissa offered tortilla chips dolloped with Ghost Chili sauce with the stern warning that it was very hot. (More than a million Scoville units!)
Tony Santoro's Tex-Mex Chinese Venison and Pork Belly-stuffed Wonton was the only chili you could eat without utensils.
Jimi Daly and Bryan Gittleman's Dueling Briskets Chili was one of my favorites. Sadly it didn't get any love from the judges.
Hold the Meat
There were even a bunch of vegetarian options, including Danielle Regan's Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Melange, and Jessica Randazza's 'Sweet Friends of Bambi.'
Empty cups. Full stomachs.
To the Polls
People of all ages casting their votes.
Cathy Erway and Rachel Wharton offered their culinary expertise to the competition.
Judge's Choice Winner
Jimmy Katsas took home the top jury award (a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, ten-piece Anolon cookware set, Microplane Zester, and a Wusthof Cleaver) for his Vegan (the cow was vegan) Pork Chili.
Chili Takedown Swag
This year's t-shirt art by Aaron Augenblick featured a beastly rendition of Matt Timms exploding out of a cauldron.