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Colorado Springs chili chefs strut their stuff at cook-off

August 31, 2017 Updated: August 31, 2017 at 4:15 am
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Carl Fator, who represented The Church at Woodmoor in Monument, won Chili Champ People's Choice, for his chili at the Pickin' on the Divide Chili Contest. Photo by Teresa Farney

It got spicy at the Pickin' on the Divide in Limbach Park in downtown Monument. Besides the bluegrass bands, there were a beer garden, food vendors and a chili cook-off. Yours truly was one of the judges for the chili cookers. It wasn't easy deciding between the eight chili chefs. In the end, Thomas Webster, owner of Pinot's Palette, and wife Shannon walked away with bragging rights. For me, a big fat Frito chip in the bottom of the tasting cup topped with chili made it my favorite. The corn-based chip balanced the spiciness of the chili. People's choice went to Carl Fator.

New sous

Corey Hoff has joined Cerberus Brewing Co., 702 W. Colorado Ave., as the sous chef. He was formerly a chef at Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop. He and Executive Chef Mark LeFebvre have introduced several new dishes to the menu.

"We have updated our menu just a bit to keep it seasonal," says LeFebvre.

The chefs harvest fresh produce from their sizable restaurant garden and source other local ingredients. Green tomatoes come from the garden then get paired with Rocky, Ford cantaloupe, topped with whipped chevre, arugula and balsamic glaze. And Indian pale ale bacon bites are now served with Palisade peaches. New on the menu is a spicy bruschetta sandwich: heirloom tomatoes, housemade pickled zucchini, quince paste, brie and arugula on sourdough bread.

"The pork sandwich is now green chili smoked pulled pork," said Hoff. "We serve it with roasted Anaheim peppers, housemade mustard pickles and cilantro on an artisan bun."

Details: 636-2337, cerberusbrewingco.com.

Stinking rose

Larry Stebbins, aka "The Garlic Guru of Colorado Springs" and founder of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, brings back his Garlic Jubilee at the Woodmen Heights Campus of Woodmen Valley Chapel, 8292 Woodmen Valley View, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 23. For $10, learn how to select, plant and grow gourmet garlic. Brother Luck, owner of Four By Brother Luck, 321 N. Tejon St., will offer tips for cooking with garlic. Lunch can be purchased from Awaken Food Truck or Bison Brothers Food Truck, and lemonade will be availabe from Pikes Peak Lemonade Co. Samples of garlic ice cream will be offered. Visit tinyurl.com/yarketzp to register, or pay at the door.

Woof it up

It's Yappy Hour on the patio with your furry friends at TAPAteria, 2607 W. Colorado Ave., 2 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and at Pizzeria Rustica, 2527 W. Colorado Ave., 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. Get $4 glasses of house wine and complimentary dog treats for your pup.

Burger greatness

Mark Hayes, director of dining and hospitality services at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, is proud of the results of this year's entry in The James Beard Blended Burger Project. The Peak Burger patty was a blend of Colorado Aspen Ridge beef, Colorado Hazel Dell organic cremini mushrooms and Colorado concho corn. The challah bun was from Denver-based Harvest Moon Baking Co. and was spread with chipotle mayo. Fixings were pickled red onions, roasted tomato, Pueblo jack cheese, baby kale and arugula.

"The burger was voted number one from six Colorado competitors," he emailed. "And came in as number 30 of 380 nationwide competitors and number two of 10 university dining service competitors."

What's a Blended Burger Project, you ask? It's your best attempt to fortify a burger with delicious, nutritious mushrooms. Mushrooms are a popular meat alternative in veggie burgers, and they make sense as an additive to beef because they infuse it with moisture and a "meaty" flavor.

The Peak is $9 at Clyde's Gastropub, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, in University Center. Details: 255-3502, facebook.com/UCCSClydes Pub.

Farm-to-table dinner

The Teller County Farmers Market Association will have The Farm-to-Table Dinner in the Fireside Pavilion in Memorial Park, 200 N. Park St., in Woodland Park, 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 10. For $85 per person, you get a five-course meal prepared by chefs from Carmen Tapas Grill, Historic Ute Inn and Swiss Chalet Restaurant. Wines and beers will be paired with each course. The dinner benefits the Market Intern Program. Details: 689-3133, tinyurl.com/yah9bvmb.

'KVOR Table Talk'

Is benched for football game against Virginia Military Institute. Go Falcons!

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Send tips about restaurant openings, closings and specials to teresa.farney@gazette.com, 636-0271, Twitter: @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.

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