The sixth annual Charity Chili Cook-off will take place Oct. 17 in downtown Great Bend.
Registration and check-in is at 10 a.m. at the band shell in the courthouse square, and serving starts at 11 a.m.
There is no entry fee for cooks, other than their chili. The public can buy $5 wristbands to sample from all entries, and the proceeds from tasters will be donated to the Barton County Food Bank, said Sarah Krom, community supports coordinator with Sunflower Diversified Services. Each year Sunflower hosts a fall chili cook-off and chooses a different charity.
“The local Food Bank needs ongoing community support to assist folks in meeting daily nutritional needs,” said Krom. “Participants in the chili cook-off will be able to take personal satisfaction in contributing to this worthy cause.”
At least three gallons of chili must be prepared off-site and served warm at a downtown sidewalk location. Krom said the sponsors encourage cooks to prepare more than three gallons if possible as the event continues to grow in popularity. Electricity can be provided, but entrants must bring their own extension cords and tape to secure them to the sidewalk. Cooks can also provide alternate sources of heat so long as the temperature of their chili can be maintained.
“This is to benefit our local Food Bank and it also promises to be a lot of fun,” Krom said. “This year the Toys For Tots run is later that afternoon and participants can help two worthy causes at the same time. Thanks to a generous sponsor, chili tasters that bring along a toy or make a cash donation will get a free cinnamon roll to top off their lunch.”
Judging categories include Individual, Commercial, and Team entrants. Teams must have a minimum of a chief cook and one assistant, with a maximum of six adults per team. The chili must be ready to serve by 11 a.m. when tasting and the blind judging will begin. Three local celebrities will serve as official judges considering flavor, texture, consistency, aroma and presentation.
Entrants are encouraged to develop themes, and decorate booths to add to the fun with an additional award for people’s choice booth décor. The public is encouraged to join in with the purchase of a $5 taster bracelet and select the People’s Choice Chili and Best Booth award winners. The People’s Choice voting will end at 1:45 p.m. and all awards, including the judges’ grand-prize, will be announced at 2:15 p.m.
“Sunflower truly enjoys reaching out to central Kansans and showing our appreciation for all they do for people with developmental disabilities served by Sunflower,” Krom said. “We welcome cooks to join in this effort by preparing and serving chili, and encourage the public to come out and have a taste.”
Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves babies, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
For more information about the chili cook-off, contact Krom by calling 620-792-1321.