Pub’s chilli cook-off is hotly contested event

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Judges Stuart Rhea, Gavin McCardell and Jeff Erwin try a home-made chilli

WOKINGHAM’S first-ever chilli cook off took place on Sunday and the title was hotly contested.

The Queen’s Head, in The Terrace, was the venue for the event, which saw contestants bring their homemade dishes to the pub for judges to taste.

There were 14 different chillis cooked for the panel of three to judge and they praised the quality of the entrants.

Gavin McCardell said: “We tested on colour, aroma, consistency and taste. The winner came top in everything. The second placed entry was really close.”

Fellow judge Stuart Rhea, who is executive chef for Mother Tucker, said: “Some of the food that has come out has been restaurant standard. I’m really happy with it.”

Entrants included one made by 75-year-old Tim Taylor, and Chris Stolland.

He said: “I made my chilli, it took about five hours from cutting up the ingredients and then four hours in the oven. You can’t beat homemade.”

But the winner was Pete Miller who was presented with the inaugural shield by the Queen’s Head landlady Carol Williams.

He said: “I’m very surprised to be honest. I made a practice one a while ago and it seemed to work.

“I used good quality meat, lots of fresh, dried chillis and no powders. It’s really simple: chillis, stock and meat.”

To add to the party atmosphere in the pub garden, music was provided by Andy Stollard.

The event was a success and now plans are being made for next year’s contest.