2011 Winner Roxy 171

The runnaway success of last years Great Western Chilicook-off was the Roxy171. The new venture was opened only weeks before the event and although confident like most of the Venues, no one could predict the public opinion. The Roxy171 had over 200 of the 500 votes. Tchai-ovna came second. Cafe Cherabini third. The Special Judges prize was a close call between Stravaigin and The Roxy but the general consensus tipped in favour of the Roxy 171.

I fired a few questions at Jamie Maclean The Roxy171 manager about last years astounding achievement.

Q What was it like on the day having 500 people stomp through the Roxy, how did staff cope?

It was excellent, having just opened a few weeks prior it was a wee baptism of fire for the team, but everybody coped - we just staffed up on the day. There was a fantastic buzz all day with all participants really in a party mood. Due to the event being spread out over ten venues, there was a great flow - there was never really a stage when we felt over crowded. The concept and design of the event worked very well. Keeping it to 500 tickets is a smart plan, it keeps demand high and it means that the venues will not be over-run and so can give a proper account of themselves.

Q- Your chilli was very innovative and clearly a runaway winner , How confident was everyone before the results were announced?

We were confident that we had a great chilli, it is the one that we serve on our menu and we had put a lot of time and effort into the dish. It was lovely to win, we knew it would be close as there were some great chilli being served up throughout the day but we are proud of what we produce and had a good feeling of being there or there about. By the time the results came through, the tequila and verdita had been flowing for a while so there was a bit more confidence throughout the team.

Q- You opened not long before the cook-off, did winning have an impact on your business?

The event was fantastic exposure for The Roxy 171 as we had only been open for about 4 weeks come GWCCO time. The winning was a nice icing on the cake, but it was just great to have new faces through the door getting a sample of what we do and are capable of. We feel that it has had a positive impact on business and our chilli is without doubt one of our top sellers on the food menu.

Q-Without giving to much away what's your chances this year, any advice to your fellow competitors?

We will win, advice: hire Jonny...