Fired Up for the Chili Cook-Off

The 34th annual Malibu Kiwanis Chili Cook-Off took place over Labor Day weekend and featured 22 carnival rides as well as food vendors, games and musical performances.

The Kiwanis Club of Malibu is getting ready for its 35th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Carnival this Labor Day Weekend.

The Cook-Off has become one of the biggest family events in Malibu. In past years, chili contestants came as far away as from Finland and South Africa.

A few of the chili contestants have shared a little about their personal backgrounds as well as the chilis they are preparing for the 2016 contest:  

Alex Rylance

Malibu Rugby Club

Alex Rylance has a chili booth representing the Malibu Rugby Club and coordinates other Rugby teams including Pasadena Men’s Rugby Team and Santa Monica Rugby Team which will also be in the competition this year.  In past years, Alex has coordinated the Pasadena Men and Women’s Rugby Teams.

This year, Alex will have three different chilis:

Chicken Chili (“Chickalicious Chili”)

Beef Chili (“Beefalicious Chili”)

Vegetarian Chili (“Vegelacious Chili”)

All ingredients in his chili will be cooked using organic vegetables and meats supplied by farmers in California, Texas and Oklahoma.

James Soubasis

Jersey Jimmy’s Chili

James Soubasis has travelled to California for years for the Malibu Kiwanis Club Chili Cook-Off.  James has also been an award winner in the past with his delicious chili called “Jersey Jimmy’s Chili.” James’s home base is in Monroe, NJ.  

Darrell Gillcrese

Mestico Afro Latin Cuisine

Darrell Gillcrese, owner and chef of Mestico Afro Latin Cuisine, will be back for the third year as a contestant.

“We are proud to share our award-winning chili with the Malibu community for the third year,” Gillcrese said. 

He said he and his family will be preparing their signature “Love Muff Chili” and for the first time a vegetarian chili by popular demand called “Yum Yum.”

Peter Tulaney

Weho Sausage Co. Sandwich Shop and Grill 

Back again this year with his “Peter’s Pulled Pork” is Peter Tulaney, who used to own a business in Malibu called the “Malibu Art Barn” — a therapeutic art workshop for kids. Peter is also a psychotherapist, working with kids.

Last year Peter took first place in the Sunday competition.

Kayla Webb

MUSE School CA

Jennifer Mau, director of development and marketing, said MUSE School CA is making its Chili Cook-Off debut this year with Executive Chef Kayla Webb’s plant-based chili. This dish is inspired by one of the recipes in MUSE’s cookbook, “OMD! One Meal a Day for the Planet: MUSE School CA’s Guide to Plant-Based Eating” and reflects MUSE’s dedication to the environment by using ingredients that minimize MUSE’s carbon and water footprints.

Marco Gonzalez

Tavern 1 Grill & Tap House

A first year competitor in the Kiwanis Chili Cook Off Contest is Marco Gonzalez.  Marco will prepare his “Smoked Prime Rib Chili” with ground brisket and chuck beef.                                    

Marco grew up in the restaurant business and recently started a venture here in Malibu.         

The newest Tavern restaurant, Tavern 1 Grill & Tap House PCH- Malibu, opened in January 2016 and quickly became a favorite of both locals and tourists alike.

Marco resides in Malibu Lake, California, is married to Jackie Cannon, and has four children — Ren, Matt, Anthony and Eva.  

Funds from the Chili Cook-Off have benefited dozens of organizations in Malibu and surrounding communities.