Sunday, September 19, 2010

2nd Annual Gastown Blues & Chili Festival

Gastown is the birthplace of Vancouver. It is now a tourist district along the waterfront where the early pioneers set up their tents and lit up the night sky with their gas laterns. This weekend they closed the street for the 2nd Annual Chili cookoff.


There was a competition between 20 restaurants and a panel of judges to determine who prepared the best Chili, along with a peoples' choice award


All were invited to try out the chili and of course we had to buy some tickets, proceeds of which went towards a needy cause . They also had a stage on site with live Blues entertainment playing continuously all afternoon by popular local musicians.


Every vendor had a different forumula for their signature chili and many chose to wear colourful costumes


Of course you had to first walk around and look into their pots to see their brew before making your decision


Since this was an event organized by the local Gastown community all the restaurants are from this part of town . It is a way to draw more people into the area to boost their sales.


I always thought chili was prepared with beef (ground hamburger), but today you could have tasted bison, Camel, boar, pulled pork or chicken along with dozens of different types of beans and topped with anything fron cilantro to cheese.


Did I mention that there was live music on the stage all afternoon. It was great to snag a chair and just enjoy the afternoon listening to music while eating chili, and of course, taking a few pictures and lots of video


here we are speaking to one of the chefs. He actually gave us a rundown of how his chili was prepared and I must say that it was delicious


it was so good that I have to show it to you before it is gone forever


most of the restaurants have a sign displaying the main ingredients. This one used smoked turkey, Boar and Bacon


and here it is simmering on the hotplate


by mid-afternoon some were running out of their chili so it was a lucky thing we arrived earlier than we had planned.


needless to say we had to try some of this and it was very good


the music was great . The musician on the left was a master on his guitar or modifified hawai'ian type guitar (James Roy). The person on the keyboard (Mike Van Eyes) has a style very similar to Jerry Lee Lewis and could really tickle those keys.


I don't know what happened but in no time at all we were down to only one ticket left. Lucky we saved it for the judges' decision. The winner of the best chili was Rogue so of course we had to get a sample and spent our last ticket


and it didn't last long. Now you see it and . . .


now it's gone.


  1. That looks soooo delicious Bob!

    Normally, I'd be sneaking into the kitchen to make a sandwich after seeing one of your food blogs. This time however, it's my turn to cook dinner and I have a curry simmering away so can just about hang on for half an hour!

  2. It looks like a pretty successful event from your pictures and with an event like this, running out of food may be a good thing.

    I half expected to see a video critique of the award winning chili.


  3. Looks like a wonderful festival with all of the right ingredients. (HA! Pun intended :) ) Did you try the Camel chili? I'm not sure if I could have.

    Everyone seems to be wearing long-sleeves. Chill creeping into the air?


  4. Your post reminds me that our own Chili Cook Off is sometime next month. My appetite is getting whetted as I type this comment. It is always amazing to me how many different ingredients can end up in chili. Some of them you may not want to know about.

  5. Now I AM hungry. Did you get any recipes?

  6. Dear Bobskoot:

    Now chili is something I can get into with enthusiasm. And the more exotic the ingredients, the more I would have to sample it. I would have made a special tray, to hold ten different cups at once. I'd have filled the tray up, gotten a growler of beer, and sat down to listen to the music.

    That's how I got this fat in the first place.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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  8. Love the new banner!
    You sure have a lot of great events in Vancouver. The chili looks delicious.

  9. I like the light trails in your title picture!

  10. Geoff: Actually I could go for a good beef curry over rice and I don't think I could hang on. I would be scooping it out of the simmering pot

    Richard: I think the vendors only made one or two large pots, and when they run out, then they run out. It was a chili cookout and fundraiser for charity. All funds collected were handed back so no profit motive to make much more than a taste

    BeemerGirl/Lori: Yes, I had to try the Camel but it was mixed with other stuff so really couldn't isolate the taste. There was spitting rain and it did shower a bit so most dressed accordingly. It was very hard for me to leave my shorts home, but I did.

    cpa3485/jimbo: It's amazing that all the vendors used their own creation and none were the same. Most were quite tasty

    Jack: You are so systematic, now why didn't I think of that >

  11. Anjaanan: Sorry I don't do facebook or any other social network, but I may need to borrow your camper van one day.

    BlueKat/Kari: Not long ago Vancouver was known as a NOT FUN city. Everytime rowdies caused too much trouble then cancelled the event. Eventually all events were cancelled and nothing was happening. The city is now trying to turn their image around and for the past couple of years, things are happening all over town, nearly every weekend during the summer

    Charlie6: I hope I am inspiring you to purchase a camera with manual controls, and which also shoots RAW and has an input for remote wireless shutter release, such as a Canon "G" series