La Terraza Mexican Grill took a bow for the second straight year as the judges’ choice in the Cambria Chili Cook-Off on Saturday at the Pinedorado Grounds, while T-Rex Chili of Manhattan Beach took top honors as the People’s Choice.
La Terraza chef Luis Plascencia narrowly beat out South Paw Chili of Palmdale and chef Scott Thompson — which won the Showmanship Award — on the judges’ scorecards. Omada Enterprises of Fresno, with chefs Cory Anderson and Mike Adams, took third on a sunny day that saw some 600 people turn out to sample chili and check out the entries in the associated car show.
Chef Rex Ruiz cooked up the People’s Choice winner for T-Rex. Runners-up for that award were chef Bryan Taylor of 5 Hundy Chili of Sacramento (second place) and Omada (third).
In the car show, Mike Estrada took first place for his 1941 orange Ford Coupe, Wayne Waldrup’s 1967 red Camaro was runner-up, and Mike Boyer’s 1957 black Chevy Nomad took third place.
The cook-off featured a total of 10 entries. In addition to those already mentioned, the entrants were West End Bar & Grill with chef Eli Davalos, Cambria’s Sons of the American Legion, Rotary Club of Cambria with chef Socorro Simmons, Wild Ginger Restaurant, and Victoria’s Ventures with chefs Jim and Andy Loveless.
Charmaine Coimbra coordinated the chili judging team of Clif Coimbra, Miguel de Alba, Theresa de Alba, Samaire Provost, Stephen H. Provost and Teri Sanders.