Cookoff Rules

Over 35 teams cooked in the 11th annual Chilirhea including amateurs having fun, local restaurants, and professional food competition cooks.

The 12th Annual Chilirhea Cook-Off

February 25th, 2017

Rules of Engagement


  1. All Chili must be cooked at the location of the event. Only preparation work, such as cutting of veggies and meat may be done prior to event. Chili cooked the night before and brought in a crock pot or warming tray is unacceptable and will be disqualified from the competition. NO browning or cooking, smoking, brazing, broiling of meat prior to the event.
  2. Cooking officially begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 12:00 p.m. All cooks need to be at the event by 9:00 am to ensure your chili gets properly cooked. Please do not come later than 9:00.
  3. You can use a fish fryer, crock pot, or an outdoor stove to cook your chili. You must provide your cooking apparatus.
  4. Please bring a table to cook on if you have one.
  5. Cooking will happen on the terrace around the outside of the Town Center this year so you will want to prepare for weather of any type.
  6. The style of chili is Red Only. No white chili or Verdi chili.
  7. Any type of meat is fair game. You can include beans, but in the past judges have awarded those chili’s less in points.
  8. Please prepare to cook 3-4 gallons of chili. If you want to make more, then please go ahead. Cooks ran out last year.


  1. Chili not finished prior to judging time will be penalized 05 points for every 15 minutes late on their final score.
  2. This year, we will have 12 judges split into 2 groups of 6. Each group of 6 will judge HALF of the cooking teams. You will be given a number based on where your serving spot is- evens will be judged by one group of judges and odds will be judged by the other group of judges. This will ensure judges don’t get tired of tasting chili once they reach teams later in the judging! If there is a tie, all 12 judges will taste both teams chili and vote a winner.
  3. A judge’s sheet will be emailed out the week of the event.
  4. We will be having a winner for best overall Theme. This will have its own judge and be separate from the actual chili competition. Best theme will get a prize. Remember there will be children at this event so keep it PG-13.
  5. The theme will be judged on look of serving booth and dress of participants. You will also need to name your Chili. Be creative such as: Bone’s Firehouse Chili, 40 Daze Haze, and Chili Bean. The name will be a small item on the overall theme judge’s sheet.
  6. There is also a People’s Choice Award. This is determined by the public. It is up to you to entice the attendees to try your chili and cast their vote for you. This is 20% of the judging criteria. Each token is $1 dollar and bought by attendees. They will place the PC tokens in a jar or cup at your table. Bucket for holding tokens will be provided for you by our People’s Choice sponsor.


  1. Bowls, plates, napkins and spoons are provided by Chilirhea, but cheese, Fritos, jalapenos, hot dogs, and other items are to be provided by the cooks. These additional items are not allowed to be put in the judge’s bowls.
  2. Serving spoons or ladles shall be provided by the cooks.
  3. There will be test taste cups provided as well. These will be used for people to taste your chili prior to judging taking place. Once your chili has gone to the judges, you can start serving out full bowls. This is the time to work the crowd for The People’s Choice.
  4. Bring a Crock Pot or Commercial Grade catering Serving Dish – all cooks will move their chili inside at noon to serve. Tables will be set up with your names and serving stations. No open flames allowed inside Fayetteville Town Center.
  5. Please bring your own extension cord for the event for your crock pot.


  1. REMEMBER- There are 3 team members allowed PER team as always. If you have a fourth member, they will be required to purchase a ticket and will be checked before the event. You have fair warning so this gives your 4th friend to purchase an early ticket online for $35 instead of $40 the day of the event.
  2. There is a silent auction with numerous gifts. Please bring cash/checks for items and let friends and family coming know.
  3. We will have trash bags, but please bring your own and take out what you bring in.
  4. The First place winner will receive $1200 prize money and a trophy for each of the 3 team members. Second place will receive $750 prize money. Third place will receive $300 prize money. People’s Choice and Theme winner will receive a trophy as well. Last place winner will receive a large supply of 1ply toilet paper.
  5. Judges this year to be announced.
  6. While the speakers address the room, please stop serving and ask everyone to listen.
  7. You can set up your theme inside at the Fayetteville Town Center at 9:00 am
  8. Do not bring your own alcohol into the Town Center. You must consume the drinks donated by our beer and wine sponsors.
  9. If you feel any of these rules need to be amended or a rule added, then let us know at least one week prior to competition.

May the Best Chili Win!

Download a copy of the Rules