Culture, Chili and Crooked Celebrations 

The Week in Review

Beer buffs got crooked at Crooked Fence's first anniversary party.

Rebecca Cuellar

Beer buffs got crooked at Crooked Fence's first anniversary party.

Though downtown Boise's cavernous clubs were mostly empty as sheets of snow blanketed the streets Feb. 22, things were heating up inside the Reef.

By 11 p.m., Bay Area funk band Monophonics had dozens of fans grooving to its "mid-tempo funk beats, peppered with staccato wubs of bass and rhythmic stabs of organ," noted Boise Weekly's Josh Gross.

"From the audience's perspective, the songs are almost interchangeable: a funk groove with gravelly, southern-fried vocals focused on love and power gone wrong," said Gross. "The goal, of course, is to get people to forget their problems for a bit and refocus on what really matters: booty shaking."

With the previous evening's snow melted into slushy puddles, BW's Harrison Berry made his way to the Boise Art Museum Feb. 23 for the opening of its newest exhibit, Origins: Objects of Material Culture. According to Berry, Origins is a three-part exhibit that draws from Native American, Papuan (New Guinea) and Malian (Africa) material cultures from the pre-European contact period to the present day.

"Perhaps the most engaging of the display rooms is dedicated to African art," explained Berry. "Here, beautiful metalworks and representational ceremonial masks mark the diversity and sophistication of Malian culture. An elaborately carved granary door attests to advanced agricultural practices, and iron and bronze currency items like anklets and necklaces suggest smelting techniques and trade with faraway cultures."

While Berry filled his brain with art, Gross filled his gut with chili Feb. 23 at the annual Hyde Park Chili Cook-Off.

"This year's rendition of the annual Cook-Off featured an expanded roster of chilies from last year--18 instead of 11--as well as a more adventurous series of recipes, everything from simple and traditional stews to daring uses of ingredients like elk, pumpkin ale and finely chopped Swiss chard, which soaked up the chili flavor magnificently."

The judges, who included Gross, ultimately gave top honors to Peak Restoration's Summer Chili, made with ancho chilies and a variety of white beans topped with queso fresco.

The money raised from the cook-off benefits Saint Luke's Children's Hospital.

Speaking of full bellies, Crooked Fence Brewing celebrated its first anniversary by tapping a mess of kegs and inviting hundreds of guests to a party at the Powerhouse Event Center Feb. 23.

"Outside the venue, visitors snagged grub from Boise Fry Company, P. Ditty's Wrap Wagon and Saint Lawrence Gridiron food trucks, while at the door, they grabbed plastic cups filled with Rusty Nail Pale Ale and 3 Picket Porter," noted BW's Andrew Crisp. "Wall-to-wall crowds filled both levels of the venue, almost all with cup in hand."

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