2022 Chilly Cook-Off Guidelines

Chilly Cook-Off Logo and snowflakes

2022 Chilly Cook-Off Guidelines

Download a pdf of the guidelines

  • The cook-off takes place at The Mill (642 N. Morton St., Bloomington, Indiana) on Saturday, January 22 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., with setup taking place the same day from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
  • In order to share your chili with the public at the cook-off, cooks must register for and view the Monroe County Health Department’s Food Safety Guidelines video on or before Friday, January 7. Registered chefs will be notified when the video is available.
  • Cooks must review and adhere to these Food Safety Guidelines.
  • All cooks and assistant servers are required to wear masks at all times over the nose and mouth.
  • Registration is limited to 24 entrants. If you submit a form after we have reached the registration limit, you will be added to a waiting list and notified in the event of participant cancellation.
  • There is no contest entry fee. Registration must be submitted to United Way by Tuesday, January 4. Use the online form here.
  • Registered cooks commit to preparing a minimum of two gallons of chili in order to continue serving until the event ends at 2:00 p.m. Three gallons are recommended.
  • Tickets will be sold in two time frames, (1) 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and (2) 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. in order to adhere to room capacity under social distancing guidelines. Cooks should plan accordingly to have enough product to serve the second wave of guests.
  • Chili should be prepared and fully heated before the event. Cooks are responsible for transporting their chili.
  • Chili must be made with USDA approved (store bought) ingredients.
  • Ingredients must be pre-cooked prior to the event. Each contestant is solely responsible to ensure that no ingredient is undercooked and/or that there is no risk of food-borne illness.  
  • The cooking period must occur within 24 hours of the event.  
  • Cooks will use their own heating devices to maintain proper food serving temperature. All cooks using electric heating devices should bring an extension cord (3-prong, no longer than 6 feet).  
  • The Health Department and event organizers maintain the right to test food temperatures.
  • Cooks are required to bring serving utensils. All cooks are required to serve their chili throughout the event. Two chairs will be provided at the serving stations as well as serving containers and eating utensils.
  • Cooks are limited to one serving assistant due to limited space. Both the cook and assistant will have free admission to the event.
  • Each cook will have one 30” X 72” serving table.
  • Setup will take place from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Cooks should be finished with setup by 10:30 a.m.
  • Cooks should display a full list of ingredients with heat level at their serving station to avoid all possible conflicts with allergies and dietary restrictions. Blank ingredient cards will be provided
  • Cooks may voluntarily share their recipes with guests, but no pre-printed recipe cards will be provided.
  • Cooks can provide preferred condiments to enhance their chili as desired.
  • Chili will be judged by a panel of judges in the following categories: best overall, best vegetarian, most creative, and professional.
  • Attendees will be provided one ticket to cast their vote for People’s Choice award.