Etiquette questions abound as the 25th anniversary of the MVY Radio Big Chili Contest draws near.
There may be no sterling silver flatware (we’re guessing plastic or biodegradable) nor any silver-framed photos of the happy couple (though it was there that MVY program director PJ Finn met his wife, a multiple-time winner of the chili contest’s T-shirt design contest before winning his heart). So formalities are at a minimum. But is it really okay to make a complete mess of yourself at such an occasion?
As anyone who ever has attended this boisterous, break-the-winter-blues event knows, it’s not about your presentation as a taster and therefore a judge (that’s you, anyone who has paid your all-you-can-sample admission fee).
For those entering chili, however, presentation counts for a lot. A lot more than what you actually serve in some cases. You’re dealing here with amateur and impressionable tasters; give them an image to remember long after they’ve blown up their tender taste buds on the ten-chili-pepper-chili three booths back. You’re up against sirens and lots of lights. Make it fun, for few January fundraisers (this one is for the Red Stocking Fund) make supporting your community such a tasty experience, if not exactly a tasteful one in the Emily Post tie-and-silver-service sense.
This year’s Big Chili Contest will be held on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Portuguese American Club in Oak Bluffs, and it always sells out, so plan accordingly.