by Erin Loury, Ichthyology Lab
Nothing brings grad students together quite like the promise of free food and friendly competition. The MLML community turned out in fine form on Friday for the first ever MLML Chili Cook-off, the brain-child of Ichthyology student Shaara Ainsley. Hungry students, faculty, and staff alike poured out of the woodwork in a celebration of sampling that had nothing to do with statistics or experimental design.
Nearly a dozen contestants entered their hearty concoctions, ranging from super-meaty to vegan. The crowd of appreciative “judges” ranked the chilies based on the judging criteria of the Chili Appreciation Society International: aroma, red color, consistency, taste, and aftertaste. Once the ballots were cast and tallied, it appeared that the color-blind community eschewed tradition to embrace an outsider: a delicious white chili submitted by Dr. Shannon Bros-Seemann emerged victorious, despite the fact that it didn’t look like the other chilis in the cookbooks, and its unconvential composition, which included chicken.
The only thing that could have made the evening even better (and marine) would have been a cameo by the chilipepper rockfish, Sebastes goodei. Well, I guess there’s always next year…