The Chili Cook-off: A Judge’s Point of View

Chili cook-off a judge’s point of view.

As a cook whenever I cook chili, a roast, or whatever meal I decide to cook, I cook it the way I want it. That is the way I eat it. If I don’t like it I won’t eat it. As a judge for Newton County Christmas for Kids chili cook-off, I don’t get to make the chili. I get to sample your chili. The chili that you make the way you like. The last few years of the chili cook-off we’ve had some delicious, delicious chili and one batch of chili that dissolved our cups, interesting.

In my years of judging the chili cook-off, I have not had a chili that I could not eat. I’ve had chicken chili, beef chili, turkey chili, chili with beans, chili without beans, mild chili, spicy chilies… really chilies all across the board and I’ve eaten all of them.

The problem with a chili cook-off or any other food cooking contest, be it Kansas City barbecue society, Memphis barbecue chili cook-off, dessert cook-off whatever, is that the cooks do just like I do, they make their foods to their taste. That is what you have to do. You can not outguess the judge. Some judges love plain chili. Some judges like it with a little chocolate flavor or cinnamon. And other judges prefer a nice mild chili. As a cook, make the best chili you can. Don’t make it so hot the bowls and the plastic ware melt. We do have paramedics and emergency response people present, but we want them to have a day off.

Note: If the judges can’t eat it,  you’re not gonna get a good score.

Make your chili the way you and your friends like it. With all the different tastes of all the judges, know that one person’s chili isn’t generally ranked top by every judge. Everybody’s taste buds are different. Make your chili. Let us as the judges decide as a group which chili is it the best.

One of the greatest things about being a judge of a food cook-off is getting the opportunity to taste all the different styles of Chilis. The different flavors people put in the meats, wow. This is a white chili with chicken or a white chili with turkey. This one has some ground beef. Wow, venison in this one. As a judge, we have the opportunity and the privilege to try everybody’s chili. We do. I want to thank you all for participating in our fundraiser and chili cook-off. Below you will find the rules. But, my number one rule ……Don’t poison the judges

Oh and p.s. don’t forget about the Non-Chili. It’s People’s Choice Only!!


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