2016 -California Road Chili

byChuck Harber


Chuck grew up in Silver City, NM and Deming, NM and learned about chili and pepper growing from his grandmother- who was also a champion cook! He began judging chili in 2008 and in 2009 he was ready to join the ICS to start cooking himself! As of 2016, Chuck cooked in six World Championship Chili Cook-offs and four World Food Championships. He says his success has been due in part to family support and his fellow team members, Ken Hook, Clark McGee and Darlene Taylor - all great cooks who could win the top spot any year. Chuck feels honored and humbled to be able to cook among so many wonderful people.


1 cup chopped white onion
14 oz. Beef broth
1 can (8 oz.) tomato paste
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
4 - 6 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 Tbsp. Gebhardt chili powder (divided)
3 Tbsp. New Mexico mild powder (divided)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
1 Tbsp. onion granules
4 Tbsp. California mild powder (divided)
2 Tbsp. New Mexico hot powder (divided)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Chimayo powder
3 Tbsp. Cumin (divided)
3 lbs. tri tip beef, cubed
1/2 tsp. light oil
1/2 tsp. Cayenne powder
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 (73/4 oz.) tomato sauce hot
14 oz. Chicken broth
1 1/2 Tbsp. Pasilla powder
1/2 tsp. Arbol powder


Add to pot: onions, beef broth, tomato paste and tomato sauce, fresh garlic, Gebhardt powder, 3/4 Tbsp. New Mexico mild powder, onion and garlic granules, 2 3/4 tsp. California mild powder, 1 1/2 tsp. New Mexico hot powder, salt, Chimayo powder and 2 Tbsp. cumin.

Simmer pot for 30 to 40 minutes.

In another pot, brown meat in oil.

Put in 1/4 Tbsp of New Mexico mild powder, salt, sprinkle of garlic granules and 1/4 tsp. of California powder.

Drain and add to pot first pot, combining well.

Add 3 Tbsp. of California mild powder, Pasilla powder, New Mexico oregano and hot tomato sauce.

Simmer for 1/2 - 2 hours.

Add 1 Tbsp. of cumin to pot and salt to taste.

Continue to simmer.

If needed, add chicken broth, Arbol powder and 1 1/2 tsp of Mexico hot powder.

Prepare to turn in.