Interview with Taps Chef Abe Asay Grand Champion of the 2015 Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff

So because of this ongoing controversy we had to ask Abe what he thinks;

Wayne: So Abe, does real chili have beans in it?  

Abe: There is only meat in Chili – Real chili has no beans.  However this year was the first year that I used beans in my chili.  I think the judges like it with beans.  Veggie chili is not chili.  I like trying something different each year.

Wayne: How much chili did you make that day?

Abe: I prepared 13-14 gallons of chili – I used 6 gallons for Taps and had planned to use it for the next day in the restaurant, however when I got there the 6 gallons at Taps had already sold out that same day.

Wayne: Are you willing to share your recipe with our subscribers?  

Abe: {Pause} Well, I love sharing with others – I really think in the end there are no secrets and that pretty much the ingredients are well documented and you can get them anywhere.  I can provide your subscribers with a paired down version of our grand champion chili.  I use certified angus beef 80/20 chuck grind. [See Chef’s Abe Asay’s award winning chili recipe on page 4]

Wayne: We noticed that a lot of the chili’s we tasted had exceptional taste to the meat – like a smokey barbeque brisket flavor.  How did you prepare your meat?

Abe: I actually didn’t smoke my meat – the way I get that smokey flavor to my meat is to catch the drippings off our smoker and add spices like paprika.

Wayne: Do you have any ideas of what you might do next year?

Abe: I like doing something different – so I think I want to do a salsa and a veggie chili next year.  It’s a fun event and over the years many of the competitors have become like family – its been great getting to know them over the years.  I wished more restaurants in Petaluma and more individuals would enter.

Wayne: If you would change the chili competition how would you do it?

Abe: I would like to see the chili actually cooked at the competition – I think that would be a lot of fun.

2015 Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off Taps Grand ChampionWayne: You received the Golden Ticket to enter this year’s World Food Championship – can you tell me a little about that?

Abe: Well I am planning to go – but I haven’t done any planning so far.

Wayne: What is your favorite menu item at Taps that you like preparing as a Chef?  

Abe: Actually I like cooking everything – I really like cooking Thursday brewery nights  – We try to do a little something different each time.  I like the short ribs over polenta, mussels and fries.  Sometimes we cook Indian, Vietnamese, French and Mediterranean food. Summer is coming and I am excited about that because we will be able to offer different seasonal ingredients, salads, and barbecue.

Wayne: What is your personal favorite food?

Abe: Pho soup.  Even if it’s hot outside I love it.  It’s a comfort food.  I like sushi, Mediterranean food like paella or even a good pasta.

Wayne: Being at Taps – one of the best beer stops in Petaluma – you have to tell us what your favorite beer is?  

Abe: Anything made by Hen House.

Wayne: Thank you for your time Abe and we wish you luck at the World Food Championships.

Abe: Thank you – appreciate it.


3 thoughts on “Interview with Taps Chef Abe Asay Grand Champion of the 2015 Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff”

  1. Great interview with Abe from Taps…he’s the man that makes it all happen. That’s a very complex Chili recipe with 23 ingredients including Rooster Sauce ????…mine has about 5 ingredients…no wonder he walked away with the Judges AND The People’s Choice top awards at this years event. He’s a Chili Genius!

  2. Abe has always done a great job down at TAPS so it’s no surprise he came up with the Grand Champion chili this year. Congrats and good luck at the World Food Championships!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *