Contest features some heat to take the chill off

Chili Challenge benefits Kidney Foundation and Alzheimer's Association

Chili some people love it, some people hate it and it can really be a matter of finding the right recipe. There are so many variations, it may as well be its own food group.

Award-winning chef Edwin Nazario, of the Edison Club in Rexford, knows that chili can be made a million different ways, and he pushes the envelope each time he creates a new recipe, using different kinds of meat and spices and other ingredients to make every spoonful unique.

He competes every November in the Chili Challenge, a cook-off held to benefit the National Kidney Foundation and the Alzheimer's Association. Last year, his kangaroo chili recipe won the People's Choice Award for Zestiest Local Chili. Wait until you taste what Nazario has up his sleeve this year. Three hints: it has a shell, it swims and it snaps.

"It's a little dark " it's not red. We kind of left it a brownish color. I'm also serving it on top of it a seaweed salad," said Nazario.

Still wondering what's in that chili? Snapping turtle.

To actually taste it, along with about 14 other recipes, head to the Chili Challenge, which will be held at the Troy Atrium on Sunday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 5 p.m. The fee of $15 goes toward a good cause and a full belly.

Besides topping his chili with seaweed instead of the traditional cheese or sour cream, Nazario will be making a homemade sea salt cracker. To make the experience complete, those willing to test Nazario's concoction will be greeted by a turtle mascot standing by his under-the-sea themed booth (another category in the competition is "best booth" " which Nazario also won last year, partially in thanks to a kangaroo mascot).

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