Let's Chili Cook-Off Rules and Regulations


The following rules are to be adhered to by all cook-off chair people, cooks, judges and/or assistants:

1. True chili is defined as any kind of meat or combination of meats cooked with chili peppers, various other spices and other ingredients with the exceptions of items such as beans or spaghetti. However, this contest will permit the use of beans.

2. The entry fee will be $10.00 for the first entry and $5 for an additional entry. Contestants may enter up to 3 batches of chili. There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize.

3. All ingredients must be pre-cooked & treated prior to the event – chili is to be brought “ready-to-eat”

4. Contestants are responsible for supplying all of their own utensils & products relating to their chili submission and maintenance of its proper temperature for serving. Spoons and cups for use in serving chili to the general public will be provided.

5. Each contestant must cook a minimum of four (4) quarts of competition chili. At the beginning of the competition, competition volunteers will collect a chili sample in numbered containers to present to the judges.

6. Each contestant will be assigned a “contestants number” and be given a container in which their chili will be collected at the time of the official judging. Each contestant should verify that the number on the bottom of their container is the same as their contestants’ number assigned to them upon arrival.

7. The decision of the judges is final. Judging will be based on score cards which are numbered.

8. Each contestant is responsible for policing and cleaning up the area at the end of the day and removing all items from the area. No items shall be allowed to remain after the close of the Cook-off.

Let's Chill Winter Fest will provide the cups and spoons for sampling chili and the three containers for your competition chili submission (one for each judge).

Judging Criteria and Guidelines
Color -- Does the chili look appetizing? Does it look bright and colorful or dull and bland?
Aroma -- Does it smell good? Does the aroma make you want to dig in?
Consistency -- How is the meat-to-sauce ratio? It shouldn't be runny, mushy or overly thick.
Taste -- How is the flavor? Do the ingredients blend well, or is one too overpowering? Does the first bite make you want another one?
Aftertaste -- Once you swallow, is there a spicy taste ("bite") that stays on your tongue? Is it pleasant?

On top of the chili-quality criteria, judges have some guidelines of their own. They should use a clean spoon for each chili taste, cleanse their palates between tastes, write down their responses immediately after each taste (not after tasting all of the entries), never try to match entry numbers to contestants and keep their choices to themselves.

Judges will input a number (typically 1 to 10) for each element, and the score for each chili is simply the sum of those five numbers. The winner is the chili with the highest overall score after adding up the scores from each judge.


Prizes and Awards
1st Place: To be announced
2nd Place: To be announced
3rd Place: To be announced

People's Choice Award: Voted on by the people and presented by the Peoples Presbyterian Church of Milan. Exact prize details to come.

There will be a People's Choice ballot box for people to vote for their favorite chili.