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Aug 24, 2008 02:09 PM

Chili cook-off

Help!!!! I'm looking for information on how to host a chili cook-off for a fund raiser. Any ideas or connections? Thanks

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  1. I'm not a biznizz person, but for legal reasons, a lot would depend on where it is held, where and how the chili is prepared (all under one roof or ?) whether anyone (other than the judges) can taste the individual chilis, and whether they will be charged for doing so. If so, the health department may have something to say and you may need a temporary (1 day) license. If just the judges are tasting the chili to determine the winner, that would be a lot simpler, but since this is a fund-raiser, that is unlikely.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KyMikey

      Here's more information: The cook off is for our church group to raise fund for the missions we support. I went to the CASI site but it was just forms. Here is what we have thought of so far..... Advertise in the local paper for cooks and on the local radio. We would ask some local pastors to be the judges since it is a church event. We are thinking of charging a 25$ entry fee for teams and then sell the chili for a dollar a bowl to the public. A question that has been asked is how do we get a crowd to come and see the cookoff? I thought a car show might be good. Keep all the comments coming it helps alot.

    2. As mentioned by Mikey,the fact it is a fundraiser puts it in somewhat different category.

      Call the health dept,and they should have a brochure.

      Typically folks charge the spectators about $5 and they get five tickets ,to vote their favorite.

      Typically ,some local "celebs",maybe five ,are lined up to judge a "pro" category,where local restaurants compete for bragging rights.

      The crowds' tickets, at each booth,declares the "peoples' choice".

      Amateurs may pay $5-$10 to enter ,and provide a gallon of chili.

      The "pros" may pay $50-$100,and provide a gallon,minumum.

      They will often make more,as they are advertising to the public.

      Keep the judging criteria very simple.

      Let the judges pick the top four-five.,in order.

      If it is a good sized entry,you might have a "best booth" winner, for the pros.

      You can have a traditional "red chili" main category,and an" anything but red",for extra entries and more interest.

      The local newspaper will usually send someone to take pix and write it up,if you give them some lead time.

      If you want general criteria,google the CASI and ICS web site.

      These are the two national contest sanctioning bodies.

      Hope this helps a little.


      1. Make sure there's a card listing key ingredients with each chili. It's amazing how many dishes I don't dare try at these things simply because I don't know what's in them. (And I don't have any major dietary, religious or allergen concerns.)

        Also make sure the cooks are in the vicinity of their pots (with name tags) so they can field questions and compliments.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tubman

          So do we limit what people use? I know most cook-off say no beans so is it ok to say no rabbit?