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Not to be confused with Cooking off.

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.[citation needed]

Chili cook-off[edit]

Clarksville chili cook-off in 2008

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[1] while still awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars to winners.

As early as 1970, many communities have hosted non-ICS cook-offs, leading to a competing "World Championship" cook-off in Terlingua, Texas.

The UK Chilli Cook-off Association organises chilli cook-offs as throughout the UK as fundraisers, culminating in the UK grand final at the Upton Cheyney Chili Festival near Bath, UK - Winners qualify for the World Food Championships Chili Cookoff

Notable cook-offs include(d):

  • 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; ended in 2002)
  • the Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned cook off 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
  • the Red Gold Tomatoes Chili Cook-Off Crush Hunger Saturday in Elwood, Indiana
  • the Rev 1 Engineering annual Tax Day Chili Throwdown in Murrieta, CA

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 

External links[edit]