On Sunday, when the weather had a wicked chill in the air, several amateur cooks, along with a multitude of Denver restaurants, including Avenue Grill, Fruition, Little Pub Company, Table 6, Mizuna, Vesper Lounge, Cafe Brazil, twelve and Fuel Cafe, warmed the crowds with bubbling pots of chili, handing out small portions in at attempt to win their vote in the third annualJoy Wine & Spirits
chili cook-off, a benefit for Rebuilding Together Metro Denver, a local nonprofit. Andra Zeppelin, editor of Eater Denver, Wayne Conwell, chef-owner of Sushi Sasa and I judged the competition, awardingFruition
, Alex Seidel's restaurant, first place for its terrific slow-smoked pork green chili topped with tamales de rajas and crumbles of queso. And the voting public agreed, also awarding Fruition the top spot. Here's a photo gallery of the highlights -- and don't miss ourfull slide show of the spirited chili cook-off
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See also: Joy Wine and Spirits Chili Cook-Off 2013