The Ultimate Chili Showdown: Pro Chef vs. Home Cook

If you love spicy food and a good cooking challenge, then get ready for the ultimate battle between a professional chef and a home cook. In this epic chili showdown, they each create their own mouthwatering chili recipes using different ingredients and techniques. Prepare to be amazed by the flavors, creativity, and expertise on display!

The Ultimate Chili Showdown: Pro Chef vs. Home Cook
The Ultimate Chili Showdown: Pro Chef vs. Home Cook

The Unconventional Ingredients

Our professional chef, Saul, spared no expense when it came to his $335 chili. His recipe included a leg of venison, fresh nopales (cactus), four types of chilies (cascabel, mirita, ancho, and puya), and even a big agave leaf. Talk about unique and exotic ingredients!

On the other hand, our home cook, Joe, took a more budget-friendly approach with his $18 chili. He used simple pantry staples like ground turkey, cornbread mix, onions, garlic, and jalapenos. While his ingredients may have been humble, Joe was confident that he could create a delicious chili using his cooking skills.

The Cooking Process Unveiled

Saul went all out in creating his chili masterpiece. He started by preparing the venison and seasoning it with a flavorful blend of spices. For added complexity, he charred onions and jalapenos to develop rich flavors and then added them to the meat mixture. He also diligently cleaned and prepped the nopales, ensuring they were cooked to perfection. The result was a chili that was bold, smoky, and full of unique textures.

Meanwhile, Joe focused on making his chili as tasty as possible with his limited ingredients. He charred onions and jalapenos too, but opted for ground turkey instead of venison. He also seasoned his meatballs with a creative mix of spices, including his secret weapon — corn muffin mix as a breadcrumb substitute. Joe’s chili was hearty, comforting, and perfect for a cozy night in.

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The Finishing Touches

Both chefs didn’t stop at just chili. Saul prepared mouthwatering sopes, esquites (Mexican-style street corn off the cob), and even pickled avocados. Joe, on the other hand, whipped up an irresistible jalapeno cornbread casserole and garnished his chili with scallion oil.

The Verdict

After hours of cooking and anticipation, it was finally time for the taste test. Joe was blown away by the bold flavors, tenderness, and complexity of Saul’s chili. The combination of exotic ingredients and expert cooking techniques elevated the dish to new heights.

Saul, on the other hand, was pleasantly surprised by Joe’s humble chili. The flavors were satisfying, the meatballs were perfectly cooked, and the cornbread casserole added a delightful twist. It was a testament to Joe’s skill and creativity.


Q: Can I recreate these recipes at home?
A: Absolutely! While Saul’s recipe may require some specialized ingredients and techniques, Joe’s recipe is perfect for home cooks. Feel free to experiment with your own variations and add your personal touch.

Q: Is chili always made with beans?
A: Not necessarily. There are endless variations of chili recipes, some with beans and some without. It all comes down to personal preference.

Q: Can I substitute ingredients in these recipes?
A: Of course! Cooking is all about experimentation and tailoring recipes to your taste. Feel free to substitute ingredients or adjust the spice levels to suit your preferences.


The battle between Chef Saul and Home Cook Joe showcased the different approaches to creating a mouthwatering chili. Whether you prefer exotic ingredients and complex flavors or simple pantry staples with a twist, there’s no doubt that chili remains a beloved comfort food with endless possibilities.

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So gather your ingredients, heat up the stove, and get ready to create your own chili masterpiece. Remember, cooking is all about having fun, experimenting, and enjoying the delicious results. Happy cooking!

Hook’d Up Bar and Grill

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