Proceeds to benefit Seymour Rotary Club
Does the word “chili” make your stomach grumble, your nose twitch and your mouth water?
If so, then bring your appetite (and maybe a big ol’ napkin) to the Tennessee State Chili Cook-off this Sunday at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge during the second annual Rhythm in the Hills music festival.
Chili lovers have the chance to sample chili concoctions created by folks from across the country. Bring a five-dollar bill and trade it in for a bowl and a spoon, and take that dishware to the various cooks’ areas to sample, sample and sample again. Bowls of your favorite chili may also be purchased from individual contestants.
All proceeds from this cook-off will benefit the Seymour Rotary Club. Rotary President Andy Wallace said the club is really excited about this year’s event. “The cook-off not only offers the benefit of having great cooks (making chili),” he said. “But because of our co-location with the Rhythm in the Hills event we’re expecting a great turnout.”
He said they expect at least 450-500 people. “We could have over 1,000,” he said.
Why is Seymour’s Rotary Club involved? “The funds raised ultimately go back into the community,” Wallace said. “We award scholarships to graduating seniors and (provide funds) to other non-profit entities.”
Contestants entering this Chili Cook-off competition hope to land a chance to compete at the World’s Championship Chili Cook-off. This contest is sanctioned by the International Chili Society, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the annual Cook-off.
The International Chili Society (ICS) is a non-profit organization that sanctions chili cook-offs with judging and cooking rules & regulations. These events are worldwide and benefit charities or non-profit organizations. All winners of ICS-sanctioned cook-offs qualify to compete for cash prizes and awards at the World’s Championship Chili Cook-off held each year in October. The ICS is the largest food contest, festival organization in the world.
Those planning to compete with their version of chili should be aware of a few of Sunday’s cook-off rules. For the verde chili, all contestants must have their culinary creations ready for sampling by 2 p.m. Salsa contestants should be ready by 3 p.m., and those daring to cook red chili must have their wares ready to sample by 4 p.m. All contestants should remain on-site until the winner is announced between 6-6:30 p.m. Sunday.
For more information about the Chili Cook-off at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge visit www.rithinfo.com/cookscornerchileinthehills.aspx