Dining With Denise Neil

Denise Neil has the latest Wichita restaurant news, with comings & goings, recent reviews, the question of the week and more.

Second ChileHead competition will spotlight Hatch chiles

08/18/2014 11:39 AM

08/18/2014 11:47 AM

Marty Johnson, owner of Johnson’s Garden Centers, has begun his annual August treks to to keep Wichita stocked with green chiles from Hatch, N.M.

And on Saturday, local chile fans can try some dishes made with the peppers and sample craft brews that pair well with them.

Johnson is putting on his 13th annual Chile Fest on Saturday and Sunday, during which customers at all three locations can stock up on Hatch green chiles and watch them being roasted. The three Johnson’s Garden Centers are at 2707 W. 13th St., 802 N. Ridge and 6225 E. Shadybrook

On Saturday, they also can participate in the Second Annual Iron ChileHead competition at the West 13th Street store, which asks local food truck operators to prepare dishes using the chiles. A panel of judges, including me, will choose a winner. The food trucks participating are B.S. Sandwich Press, Let’M eat Brats, Hopperoni Express, Park-n-Pork and Chino’s Parilla. (Last year’s winner was Roni Attari, who at the time was operating the since-closed Hopping Pita food truck and prepared several delicious items, including green chile hummus.)

People who visit can buy dishes from the food trucks and get free samples of beers made by local brewers using green chiles. The participating breweries are Central Standard Brewing, Hank is Wiser Brewery, Hopping Gnome Brewing, River City Brewing, Walnut River Brewing and Wichita Brewing Co.

The Iron ChileHead competition is from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.

The Chile Fest is going on Saturday and Sunday at all three Johnson’s. Peppers are available at 20 to a plastic bag for $7.99 and are available either roasted or unroasted. They’re available in larger quantities as well and can be turned into dishes such as chile verde, chile rellenos, salsa verde and more.

Here’s a story I wrote last year about Johnson’s dedication to keeping Wichita in chiles through the fall.

About Denise Neil

Denise has been an Eagle reporter since 1997. She writes about pop culture on Sundays, reviews restaurants on Fridays and blogs at Dining with Denise. Previously, she worked for the Chattanooga Times and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

Contact Denise at 316-268-6327 or by e-mailing dneil@wichitaeagle.com

Follow Denise on Twitter: @DeniseNeil

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service