Avast! Chili Cook-Off 14 November 2015

c Paolo Rossetti

Our Annual Chili Cook-Off just over the horizon, on November 14th, and we are seeking competitive teams who seek “Best Chili” bragging rights throughout their organization, their community, and across the entire Old Dominion.  Each year, for a decade or so, we have held this action-packed competition.  Teams come together on-site to prepare and serve some of the best chili in the nation.  So far, we already have five restaurant teams promising to compete and we’re seeking a few more.  Now we’re putting out the word to everyone else!

If you are in military organization, get two or three comrades in arms and form a team.  We will be awarding an award for best military team, too.  So, if your chili is good enough, you could win the title of Best Military Team Chili AND the title of the Judge’s Choice Award or the People’s Choice Award for best chili, too.

If you work in a restaurant, your team could win as the Best Professional Team Chili and could win another award, too.

And, if you and your workmates, family, or just a bunch of friends get together and form a freelance team, you could win it all, too.

Here’s how it works…

  • There is no entry fee for competitors and you can enter multiple recipes.
  • But, every team must provide a minimum of 5 gallons of chili for each chili recipe they serve.
  • Your booth can be highly decorated or not decorated at all…but there is an award for Best Themed Chili Award (of course, the chili should taste good, too).
  • Each team develops their own unique recipe and prepares the entire dish on-site at the Museum (Health codes mandate all food has to be prepared at a location with a professional or an event food permit.  So, only restaurants can prepare off-site in their approved kitchen areas, as long as they transport the food to the Museum site according to health regulations).
  • Chili recipes can be meatless or contain virtually any kinds of seafood, poultry, of red meat.  But, all food must come from a commercial source.  In other words, the State doesn’t allow any game or fish that has not been acquired from a supplier who can be inspected for cleanliness and proper food handling.
  • Of course, all food preparation and serving areas must be covered.  So, if you don’t have a pop-up tent, let us know early.  We do have very limited space for a couple teams under our large Event Tent.
  • We recommend that all teams use charcoal or propane heat sources.  But, we do have very limited outdoor electrical capability.  So, if you want to use an electrical heat source, again, let us know very early on.
  • We’ll begin serving the chili around noon.
  • Each Cook-Off Patron (folks who buy tickets to the event) will receive a spoon and a scorecard.
  • When a Patron arrives at a competitor’s tent, The team will serve the Patron in a small sampling cup provided by the Museum.  As the Patron moves from tent-to-tent they process is repeated.
  • As the Patron proceeds through each tent, the Patron will decide who they want to vote for in the category of Peoples Choice Award category and drops their ticket/ballot in the box for our team to tally.
  • While all of this tasting and fun socializing is happening, our sequestered judges will be tasting and conferring, and tasting and conferring, until they decide which teams best represent each of the award categories.
  • As we approach 3 o’clock, our judges will begin the announcement of awards.  At the ceremony, the winning team will be provided an award that proclaims to the world that their Team has achieve Champion status.

So, if you are interested in learning more about entering a team, please call us at 757-887-2641 or send an e-mail to admin@watermens.org.  We will answer any questions and get a competitor’s registration form out to you.  We recommend you enter as early as possible to ensure we have room for all Teams that want to compete.