Sunday, October 17, 2021

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The Dish

Good times keep rollin’


International Chili Society World Championship beginning this fall in Ankeny.

The last month was as good for food economies as it was for the stock market. Beef prices were way up. Pork prices close behind. Corn soared on increased demand for fuel. Restaurant openings outnumbered closings by huge numbers. That’s not sustainable, but here we go…

Good News

The Poke Company opened in the 300 MLK complex, above Blaze… Fabiola Carlin and Mariela Maya, both originally from Peru, opened Panka, a Peruvian café at 2708 Ingersoll. See more in Food Dude… Prairie Hill Diner opened in the former Five and Diner in Prairie Hill… Marc Navailles, a Basque chef, planned to have a paradilla, an Argentine steakhouse, open on University in Windsor Heights by publication time, with David Baruthio and Sarah Hill of Baru 66. The group also planned to open the pan Mediterranean café Nomad on Locust opposite the iconic sculpture of the same name. Hill and Baruthio also opened a new pizza joint in downtown Earlham with an imported 800 degree, electric oven… El Aquila Real of Beaverdale, flooded in June, is planning a comeback on Merle Hay Road, in the former Famous Dave’s venue… Oishii Sushi opened on Jordan Creek Parkway… Scotty’s Slices and Shots announced it would open soon on the first floor of The Randolph building. Scotty’s will be located between 1908 Draught House and the soon to open Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Real… Tangerine opened in the Des Moines Art Center… Starbucks moved its Locust store a block east from their venue in the Temple of the Performing Arts to the Federal Home Loan Bank building… A restaurant, rumored to be a St. Louis Italian chain, will neighbor them soon… St. Kilda’s was rumored to be moving into the old Starbucks space in the Temple… Lemongrass reopened, in Waukee.

Bad News

Old Chicago (of Colorado) closed their Merle Hay store after 12 years…

Prep Iowa


Kenneth Quinn, former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, will soon be the second person to be recognized by a British humanitarian organization working to prevent genocide. Quinn is best known here as president of the World Food Prize Foundation. He is receiving the award in recognition of his significant contributions to ending the Cambodian genocide. The Steven Krulis Champion of Humanity Distinguished Service Award is named after a Holocaust survivor and was last awarded in 2002.  

Super-hot news

Des Moines, actually Ankeny, beat out 17 cities in the Midwest, to land the International Chili Society World Championship beginning this fall for five years. The District at Prairie Trail will host an event that has been held in Terlingua, Texas, for decades and has a cult following that includes every cable food network. The 2019 ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off® (WCCC) will be held Sept. 6-8.

The event has grown from a chili cook-off challenge among a small group of friends to the culminating event of a year-long series of sanctioned cook-offs in 39 states and attracting hundreds of thousands of chili fans along the way. Catch Des Moines and local impresario Brooks Reynolds, co-founder of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, worked together to bring the event to town.

More than 125 ICS sanctioned chili cook-offs are held each year in 39 states, with winners qualifying for the ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off®, a three-day weekend event in the fall. There is currently one sanctioned Chili Cook-off held in Iowa during the Iowa State Fair, but more are being planned for 2019. The WCCC is a multi-day public festival of champion chili, craft beer tasting, music, family-friendly entertainment and more. It includes People’s Choice chili tasting, restaurant chili competition and tasting, local competitions for grilling and baking, craft beers and spirits, local retail and craft vendors, and popular local and regional music acts.

There will be nearly 300 entries in four adult categories, plus two youth categories. Adult events are: Traditional Red – any kind of meat/combination of meats cooked with red chili peppers/powders, various spices and other ingredients; Chili Verde – any kind of meat/combination of meats cooked with green chili peppers/powders, various spices and other ingredients; Homestyle Chili – any kind of meat/combination of meats and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers/powders, various spices and other ingredients. Beans are required; Veggie Chili – any kind of vegetable/combination of vegetables cooked with chili peppers/powders, various spices and other ingredients – with no meat or meat by-products. Youth competitions will be in Traditional Red and Homestyle Chili, for 6 to 17 years of age. Close to $100,000 will be awarded, with $25,000 as the top prize. ♦

Official Website of the ICS and of the World Championship Event:

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