Contest features some heat to take the chill off

"When I do chili, I look for a meat that has to be stewed, something that has to cook down for a while, and usually turtle has to be cooked down," said Nazario.

He said bear meat is another one that takes a little more time to prepare.

He said he usually makes an ostrich chili, but wanted to try something different this year.

"I brought it to Glens Falls High School, and a couple ladies tried it and one said it tasted like rabbit only a little gamier. About half the ladies said it tasted like chicken," said Nazario.

He said that in his opinion, the turtle meat in the chili is similar to chicken, only it's a little darker in color and the texture is slightly chewier.

Besides the cook-off, chili is not a large part of Nazario's cooking.

"We do it because we do the competition to help out with the causes, but we never do it here," said Nazario when talking about whether or not his restaurant serves up different kinds of chili dishes.

He said that more than preparing the chili itself, he likes watching the reactions of people after they taste it. He also enjoys taking part in cooking competitions.

He usually works with at least one assistant but said that when it comes to creating recipes, "we all put our heads together and figure out things." When it comes to creating recipes with exotic meats, like kangaroo, turtle or ostrich, he'll make a phone call to one of the people he buys his meat from and ask if they have anything exotic on hand.

He is also preparing a vegetarian pumpkin and black bean chili with tofu.

Due to the process of preparing this chili for competition, Nazario said it will be a long while before he can eat any kind of chili again.

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