It’s time to dust off that recipe from last winter and make a big pot of chili for entry in the 5th Annual Charity Chili Cook-off. This year’s event will take place on Lakin Street between Main and Kansas.
The event is set for Saturday, Oct. 18, with a 10 a.m. check-in at the registration booth located at Kilby Square. There is no entry fee for cooks with all proceeds from tasters going directly to the Great Bend Food Bank. “We have watched as changes in the food stamp program reduced the support provided by the State of Kansas to adults and children most in need, the Food Bank needs ongoing community support to assist folks in meeting daily nutritional needs,” said Sarah Krom, Sunflower community supports coordinator. “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; more than that amount is encouraged. Electricity can be provided but entrants must bring their own extension cords and tape to secure them to the sidewalk. Participants are encouraged to provide alternate sources of heat so 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 added. 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 will get a free cinnamon roll to top off their lunch.” The chili must be ready to serve by 11 a.m. when tasting and the blind judging will begin. Entrants are encouraged to develop themes, and decorate booths to add to the fun with an additional award for best booth décor.
Three local celebrities will serve as official judges. 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. Judging categories include Individual, Commercial, and Team entrants (which must have a minimum of a chief cook and one assistant, with a maximum of six adults per team). Judges will consider flavor, texture, consistency, aroma and presentation. The Peoples Choice voting will end at 1:45 p.m. and all awards including the judge’s grand-prize will be announced at 2:30 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.