Don’t miss Chef Abe’s Award Winning Chili Recipe at the end of this interview
This year’s Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff was the best attended in its 18 year history. There was 1050 attendees, 40 challenger teams, 26 breweries which is the highest participation in every category since inception. In our post VIDEO/PHOTOS: Winner’s of the Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off we highlighted this years winners. The Grand Champion this year was Taps under the supervision of their Chef Abe Asay who was awarded a Golden Ticket to enter the 2015 World Food Competition in Florida. This week we sat with Abe to learn more about him AND he agreed to share his award winning recipe to Positively Petaluma readers.
Wayne: Was this the first time you have won in the Chili competition?
Abe: No, we have won first place in the Restaurant category 2 or 3 years in a row?
Wayne: How long have you been a chef at Taps?
Abe: I have been here since they started – it will be six years in September.
Wayne: Where you a chef prior to Taps?
Abe: Yes I was a chef in Orange County at a restaurant called the Cafe Mezzaluna.
Wayne: Is that where you are originally from?
Abe: No I am a native of Petaluma.
Wayne: Where did you you get your inspiration to become a chef?
Abe: My parents and grandparents liked to cook – and they always cooked good food. We grew our own vegetables. I also was part of the 4H club and learned how animals are raised.
Wayne: When was the first meal you cooked?
Abe: I was about 7-8 years old and it was Thanksgiving Day. I remember my grandmother and grandfather telling me I better not try cook anything outside our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. They told him “No fancy stuff”.
CLICK PAGE 2 TO FIND OUT IF REAL CHILI HAS BEANS AND CHEF ASAY’s OPINION