Chili Cook Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where is the Chili Cook Off?
A. The Chili Competition takes place in Old Town Plaza in Old Town Elk Grove. (It is at the corner of Railroad Street and Elk Grove Blvd.)
Q. Where can I download the Chili Contestant Application?
Q. What time should I get to there to setup?
A. Placement is on a 1st come 1st served basis. Set up will begin at 6:00 am. To setup, claim your spot, unload your vehicle, go park and then return to set up your booth. We recommend arriving before 8:00 am to claim a spot and setup. Remember, cooking time is from 9:00 am to Noon. Homestyle Chili and People’s Choice are the SAME chili. How it’s judged is the difference. At noon, you will deliver a 32 oz cup (will be provided by the foundation) to the judges for judging. Then you can serve the rest of your chili to the public for their votes. All contestants are on equal footing with Homestyle Chili. Since everyone has the same amount, the best tasting chili will be declared the winner. In addition, The Elk Grove Homestyle winner advances to the World’s Championship Chili Cook-Off this fall.
Q. What do I need to bring?
A. You will need to bring your own tables and chairs. Some build their own booth while others bring pop up tents. You can bring and setup whatever you like. You have roughly a 10×10 space. There is no power available, so you will need to bring a grill or propane/gas stove (no charcoal or wood) Camp Stove, turkey fryer type stove to cook your chili. If you are bringing a propane canister (such as a 2 or 5 lbs. BBQ type) it must be secured from tipping over and must be set outside your tent. We suggest a milk crate type container to hold your canister. We have a limited amount of 10-foot gas hoses for your use. However, if we run out, you will need to supply one. Table top camp stoves with the screw on cartridge type bottles (such as Coleman) work great. Just make sure to bring extra cartridges.
Q. Do I need to bring any utensil to serve the chili in?
A. No! The Foundation sells chili tasting kits to raise money for our charities. The chili tasting kits contain a spoon, napkin, 6 tasting tickets and a People’s Choice voting ballot. The Foundation will supply 2 oz. tasting cups to each team. You will only give a sample to a guest with a tasting ticket. One ticket, one taste. We suggest you fill the cup only ½ way up, 1 oz., your chili will last longer that way. You will give a clean cup every time. NEVER put chili in a previously used cup. After tasting six contestants’ chili, they vote for the one they like the best. If they want to taste more than six chili samples, they can buy as many kits as they want. The only serving utensil you will need is a spoon or ladle to serve people in their tasting cup.
Q. Must I cook the chili at the event?
A. Yes. All chili needs to be made on-site.
Q. Are there any requirements on what chili ingredients are needed?
A. Unlike the ISC chili cooks there are no rules in regards to what the chili must contain. We suggest however, that it have a chili flavor. But it can be whatever you think is best and will win the most votes. So get those recipes out!
Q. How much chili will I need to make?
A. We are asking for a minimum of 5 gallons. There are 128 ounces in a gallon. If you give out approximately 1 ounce per serving you should be able to give out a little more than 500 samples. Keep in mind the more chili you make the longer it will last. The longer it lasts, the higher the chances to obtain more votes. If you want to win People’s Choice you will need to make enough chili to last the entire event.
Q. How long does the Chili Cook Off last?
A. Chili tasting begins at 12:00 noon after you have turned in your Homestyle chili for judging. We would like to have the tasting last until 4:00pm. Encourage your guest tasters to VOTE for your chili. Awards presentation on stage approximately 5:00 pm.
Q. Any additional information I will need?
A. All the People’s Choice participants serve chili, but some do other things to draw attention to themselves such as ring bells for each vote, having a raffle, etc. Be creative if you like. Your booth can be a great way to promote your business so be sure to have a sign and make it apparent who you are. Please note there is also a $100 prize for the best/most creative booth.
Q. Last thoughts?
A. We would appreciate it if you see anybody using any non-approved chili tasting cups to notify the Foundation Tasting Kit sales booth and to not serve them chili. While we want everyone to have a great time this is a fundraiser for the Foundation.