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A bowl of chili from the Albion Grill with Mount Superior in the background

The Alta
Chili Cook-Off

By Adam Fehr 02-27-2020

Alta Serves up a superior bowl of chili

While chili originated in the Mexican territories that now belong to the Great State of Texas, a hot bowl of chili has become a slopeside staple in the world of skiing. Regional preferences differ on the perfect chili recipe, but one thing's for certain—nothing fuels the body and soul of a skier like a midday bowl of chili on a cold winter day.

In honor of National Chili Day, we took to the sunny slopes of Alta to find the best bowl of chili.

Bowl 1: Watson Cafe's Vegetarian or Beef Chili

WATSON SHELTER'S VEGETARIAN OR BEEF CHILIThe chili at the Watson Cafe is a great on-mountain meal for intermediate and expert skiers in Collins Gulch. While the Beef Chili provides a healthy portion of organic ground beef, the Vegetarian Chili substitutes fresh carrots, onions and broccoli. Split a bowl of chili and a bucket of fries with a friend and you'll be lapping Collins on a full stomach for the rest of the day.

Bowl 2: Chili in a Bread Bowl at Alf's Restaurant

BOWL 2: THE BEEF OR VEGETARIAN CHILI AT ALF'S RESTAURANTLocated at the top of Sunnyside and the bases of Supreme and Sugarloaf, Alf's Restaurant is the ideal on-mountain restaurant for any type of skier. And the Alf's Chili Bread Bowl is the ideal ski day meal. Served vegetarian or with shredded beef in an edible bowl, top it off with jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream and, yes, bacon!

Bowl 3: Albion Grill Beef or Vegetarian Chili With A View

The Albion Grill Beef or Vegetarian Chili is a quick-and-easy meal for a skiing family. Located in the Albion Day Lodge at the Albion base area, this bowl of chili has a sweet and not-too-spicy flavor profile. Those looking for a kick can add a helping of jalapeno slices to go along with the perfect blend of shredded cheese and sour cream. Oh, and the views of Mount Superior are hard to beat.

Bowl 4: The Mixed Game Chili at the Snowpine Lodge

Served for lunch and dinner at Swen's Restuarant or all day long at the Gulch Pub, the Mixed Game Chili is a treat! Served in a bread bowl or with a side of toasted organic bread, a bowl would make the ideal lunch or shared appetizer after a long day on the hill. The candied jalapenos, smoked cheddar and greens top the dish off perfectly. To get to Swen's or the Gulch Pub at the Snowpine, ride the Snowpine lift from the transfer tow, put your skis on the rack and head upstairs. Great for non-skiers as well.

Bowl 5: Jason's Northern White Bean Chili at the Rustler Lodge

While some die-hard chili cook-off fanatics swear against beans in chili, the Rustler Lodge dining room leans in heavy. The white bean pairs perfectly with the grilled chicken—the only chicken-based chili at Alta—the spicy tomato broth and cilantro garnish. The Rustler dining room is open daily for lunch from noon-2pm. Simply take the transfer tow from Wildcat or Albion base areas and ride the Rustler lift to the side entrance. Enjoy this tasty chili in the dining room or the Eagle's Nest Lounge. The Rustler is another great spot for non-skiers.

Bowl 6: The Wildcat Chili at the Goldminer's Daughter Slopeside Cafe

Located steps from the base of Collins and WIldcat lifts (in what many confuse as Alta Ski Area's Day Lodge) the Slopeside Cafe serves up a great bowl of Beef Chili. Enjoyed indoor or while basking in the sun on the GMD patio, the Wildcat Chili has just enough kick to remind you to stay hydrated on the hill. Great for non-skiers and skiers alike, this healthy serving of chili is more than enough to keep the most die-hard skiers fueled-up and warm on a cold winter day. Great for non-skiers looking to enjoy the mountains or working on that goggle tan.

Bonus "Bowl": The Chili Cheese Fries at the Watson Cafe

Do you like chili? Do you like cheese? Do you like fries? Well good news, the Watson Shelter Chili Cheese Fries are the perfect combination of chili, cheese and fries!!! There is no shortage of calories to fuel a skier's body. One plate of these and you'll be ripping around Alta, blowing past other skiers on the High Traverse. Or you just may want to take a nap. Either way, you can't go wrong with Watson Cafe's Chili Cheese Fries. It's elementary, my dear skiers.

Photos: Rocko Menzyk

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