I wrote earlier about the Dorchester Chili Cookoff, a fundraiser for the Mayor of Dorchester/Dorchester Day Parade. It turned out to be a good experience, but with some flaws. Ten or eleven neighborhoods contributed entries, and IMHO the winner was Ashmont Hill. It was the only vegetarian entry (!) and the only spicy one (!!), so it didn’t actually win. Apparently my opinion was definitely a minority one.
But, speaking of minorities, that wasn’t the real flaw. First of all, each group dished out three or four ounces of chili! Obviously it was impossible to taste every entry, so my considered judgment is based on a sample of four. Not fair, I suppose. Second, continuing the theme of yesterday’s post, I was deeply disappointed in the lack of diversity among the participants. Considering that Dorchester is about 50% black and Hispanic, why is it that everyone there — on both sides of the tables — was white (except for a tiny Asian representation)? Admittedly the event was held in Florian Hall, a bastion of white Dorchester, but still…. Were there no neighborhood groups in Codman Square or west of Washington Street that were interested in participating? Were there no African-Americans who wanted to join in the festivities and help pick a winner? Did they feel unwelcome? Is chili just a white, yuppie phenomenon? I don’t get it.