Though successful at the 2011 Tustin Chili Cook-Off, MeadeFirst’s entry didn’t warrant the People’s Choice Award. But that wasn’t exactly their fault.
“We didn’t win because it’s based on how many tickets you get,” founder Stephen Meade said, speaking of the Cook-Off’s voting method. “So basically, the more chili you have, the more tickets you accrue. But word on the street was that we had one of the best tasting chili’s available, and probably the meatiest!”
So despite the 32 gallons they entered last June, MeadeFirst set out to improve their product this year by hosting a chili sampling of epic proportions. (And if you think that sounds hyperbolic, all you have to do is show up at this year’s Cook-Off.)
Joined by colleagues within the real estate, Orange County Mid-Century Moderns, and historic homes industries, along with friends and prospective buyers from surrounding cities, beer and wine were poured, chips were chomped, and shop was talked as parties from various backgrounds became acquainted with one another.
But after the scents from the chili pots had toyed with everyone’s taste buds, Meade cut the music and cleared his voice: “Ladies and Gents,” he said, “I now present the chili!”
Bowls of the chili – which fused a thick meat with a spicy aftertaste full of richness – were consumed in abundance over the next thirty minutes. And judging solely by the expressions of everyone in attendance, it appears that MeadeFirst’s entry has a great shot at the People’s Choice Award this year.
That is, if they bring enough to feed a crowd that will probably come back for seconds, thirds and fourths.