From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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, such as chili, and serves as a way to decide which recipe is the best for that particular dish.[1]

Chili cook-off[edit]

Clarksville, New Hampshire chili cook-off in 2008
Engineering students at chili cook-off, University of Texas at Arlington, 1983

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[2] 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

Many chili cook-offs were either canceled or moved to virtual events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, from 2020 to 2021.[3][4]

Notable chili cook-offs[edit]


A ribfest is a cook-off typically for pork ribs.

Notable ribfests[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Host a Chili Cook-Off".
  2. ^ "International Chili Society". Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  3. ^ "Belleville Chamber of Commerce". The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
  4. ^ "Chili cook-off canned by COVID-19; Freeland explores taking festival virtual – The Green Laker".
  5. ^ "Canada's Largest Ribfest – | Great Music | Great Food | Great Fun".
  6. ^ "Nugget Rib Cook Off".
  7. ^ "Family Shows Canada".
  8. ^ "2021 Ribfest Drive-Thru".
  9. ^ "HalalRibfest". Retrieved 2022-08-03.

External links[edit]