Beer, chili and punk rock make for a sizzling combination, don’t ya think? Leave it to Razorcake, the venerable L.A. punk zine, to put ’em all together in one night promising heated competition and wild carousing. Organized by Razorcake contributor Joe Dana, the second annual event promises plenty of amusements for both your taste buds and your eardrums.
Here’s how it works: Contestants pay a $20 fee to enter and bring a percolating pot of their favorite recipe to Footsies bar. Eaters pay $10 to sample everything. All contestant fees are put into a pot and the winner gets the loot, plus the chili king or queen trophy. Local scenester judges will choose the best based on categories including aroma, mouth feel, color, taste and aftertaste/bite. The chili is presented anonymously and naked, i.e., no snacks or accompaniments.
As a judge of the inaugural event last year (along with Bad Religion/Punk Rock Karaoke guitarist Greg Hetson and Angry Hour at La Cita’s Raul Morales) I can say the varieties will run the gamut, from vegan to meaty to ultra-spicy, and the most flavorful is chosen as the judges confer. Hottest isn't always greatest, either. Last year's winner was a semi-spicy red mixture with meat, beans and a saucy consistency.
This year’s judge panel includes Kaseybomber (DJ from the event known as Shake Appeal and Derby Dolls roller derby commentator) along with Justin Maurer (of bands including The Clorox Girls and Maniac). The third judge is TBA but they’ll surely get someone cool with Dana (of the band Pu$$ycow) and Jeff Proctor (of the band Mexico City Rollers) at the helm along with Bong Jovi.
The cookoff is an installment of the monthly gathering called Razorcake Hearts Drinking Beer and Listening to Records, which happens the second Saturday of the month at Footsies and features local DJs and the zine’s music experts on the decks. This Saturday, the lineup includes Juan 38, Samantha BeerHouse, and Nikki Nothing spinning a hodgepodge that just might rival the chili.
For those not familiar with Razorcake, it was started by former Flipside writer Todd Taylor in 2001 and has been covering underground music with bimonthly issues ever since. It has provided up-and-coming and established writers with an open-minded place to share their thoughts about their favorite bands throughout its existence and has seen many of its writers move onto better-known pubs, too. You can get it at Footsies, Headline and Amoeba. Visit razorcake.org to learn more.
Razorcake's second annual Chili Cookoff at Footsies, 2640 N. Figueroa, Cypress Park; Sat., Jan. 12, 5-10 p.m. Free to attend, $10 to eat, $20 to enter.