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I was fortunate enough to attend the 4th annual Philly Chili Bowl held at Ruba Studios in Philadelphia, PA this past weekend. The stage was set with 25 competitors all battling to receive the top honor of the best chili of the evening. Aided by a sample 5 Hour Energy drink, I set out to find my favorite. My personal criteria for a great chili include beans, chunky vegetables, and a thicker consistency. I am not too picky when it comes to the meats of the dish.

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4th Annual Philly Chili Bowl festivities

What I found were shredded and ground chicken, pork, and beef chilis. I even gave the vegan chili a taste. The winners of the event were varied as well. The third place contestant served a green chicken chili that tasted wonderful with great spices but reminded me more of enchilada filling than a chili. The second place contestants served their chili with mini potatoes. It was alright. The first place chili, I didn’t try! That’s the story of my life but my friend Amy raved about it. I couldn’t get past the Chunky Pumpkin Chili I tried. It was delicious and met the criteria I set forth. One might think, pumpkin has no place in a chili but the cook made it work! Her chili consisted of chunks of ground chicken, vegetables, beans, and a slight pumpkin base set off by the chili spices used. It literally blew my socks off because it was so unexpected, yet the ingredients came together so harmoniously so I cast my “crowd favorite” vote for this entry.

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The 4th Annual Philly Chili Bowl Award Table

This is a must attend event if you are in or around Philly for the soon to be 5th annual Chili Bowl!