- Not to be confused with Cooking off.
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A cook-off is a cooking competition where the contestants each prepare dishes for judging either by a select group of judges or by the general public. Cook-offs are very popular among competitors (such as restaurants) with very similar dishes and serves as a way to decide which recipe is the best for that particular dish.
A chili cook-off is a social event, similar to a barbecue, in which competitors prepare their own particular recipe for chili con carne and submit it for taste testing. A cook-off may be an informal gathering with the simple goal of sharing recipes and enjoying food, or it may be a large-scale event with an official panel of judges and substantial prizes for winners.
The Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) sanctions over 550 cook-offs annually that raise over $1,000,000 for charity. Corporate CASI, which has the function of sanctioning all of these cook-offs, doing the necessary work to tabulate cookoff results, and putting on the annual Terlingua International Chili Championship, has an annual income of approximately $250,000. Out of this annual income around $60,000 goes to charity. The CASI is a 501(c)(3) corporation.
The International Chili Society (ICS) organizes chili cook-offs as fundraisers. Its annual cook-offs are on a grand scale, with regional qualifying events that attract tens of thousands of participants and a "World Championship" cook-off held in October. The ICS has raised millions of dollars for charity while still awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars to winners.
Notable cook-offs include:
- the Tustin Chili Cook Off (in Tustin, CA)- the biggest 1-Day chili cook off in the world
- the Chilympiad in San Marcos, Texas (for men only)
- the Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned cookoff in Luckenbach, Texas
- the Chili Appreciation Society International Chili Championship in Terlingua, Texas
- the Frank X. Tolbert/Wick Fowler World Chili Championships in Terlingua, Texas
- the Lone Star Chili Cook-off in New York City
- the Reunion Church Braggin' Rights Chili Cook-Off in Plainfield, Indiana, 2013 Winner Scott Kenworthy
- the Reunion Church Braggin' Rights Chili Cook-Off in Plainfield, Indiana, 2014 Winner Erin Conder
- the Red Gold Tomatoes Chili Cook-Off Crush Hunger Saturday in Elwood, Indiana
- the Lion Chili Cook-Off in Danville, Kentucky, hosted by the Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon
- Chili Appreciation Society International, a national/international cook-off organizer and promoter of chili for charity
- Piedmont Pepper Pod, the North Carolina subgroup of CASI
- International Chili Society, a major cook-off organizer
- Munich, Germany's long running chili cook-off
- Lone Star Chili Cook-off Texas style Chili Cook-off in New York City
- American Seafood Cook-off
- VisitBigBend.com - International Chili Cookoff
- The Food Experiments, a NYC-based cookoff series
- Mackinac Island Chili Cook-off, held each February on this remote Island in the Upper Midwest