This past weekend was the 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Winterfest in Ithaca, where local restaurants and caterers serve up their best chilis and compete for various awards, including best meat chili, best vegetarian chili, and best chili presentation. The 25 degree weather didn’t keep the crowds away and proved very conducive to eating lots and lots of chili.

In my opinion, the most inventive and best tasting chili by far was the portobello mushroom chili with M&M’s (pictured above). Although I was a little skeptical at first (I thought to myself, why does my chili look more like an ice cream sundae? that can’t be good), the spiciness of the chili and the sweetness of the M&M’s balanced each other out beautifully, creating a comforting, warm flavor. Another booth made their chili (not pictured) with belgian chocolate and served with zesty orange bread. Who knew the chocolate and chili combo could be so delicious?!