Olaf's Chili Challenge
January 9, 2021
Highland Memorial Park
1515 NE 3rd St
Olaf is a famous Marion County Florida rescue cat. She was in an abusive situation and was rescued by the Marion County Sheriff's Dept. She was rushed to a local veterinarian in critical condition and luckily made a full recovery! Sheriff Billy Woods decided that she needed full time police protection and she was adopted into her fur-ever home with Sheriff Woods' family. We decided to memorialize her with our chili cook off to help support and educate our Central Florida communities in animal welfare.
Olaf's Chili Challenge is an inaugural chili cook off to help support Sheltering Hands, a 501(C)3 cat rescue organization helping central Florida cats. Chili cooks from around the state as well as local cooks come together to try their hand at making an award winning pot of chili.
Shelters, Rescues and Veterinarians from Marion, Levy, Alachua, Lake and Sumter Counties will go head to head for a chance at bragging rights, a perpetual trophy and $500 cash prize.
Event is sanctioned by CASI
(Chili Appreciation Society International)
and will have multiple judging categories including:
- CASI Chili 1st through 10th
CASI Showmanship 1st through 3rd.
- Open Chili 1st through 3rd
- Chili Paw Challenge 1st and $500 (open to Shelters, Rescues and Veterinarians only).
- People's Choice Chili 1st (voted on by patrons)
- People's Choice Booth 1st (voted on by patrons)
This a free to attend event. We will be selling $5.00 wristbands to taste and vote on your favorite chili.
- Music performed by Jeff Jarrett.
Free popcorn and cotton candy while supplies last.
- Free carnival games for the non-fur kids.
- Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Fries available for purchase.
- Raffles, 50/50
- A huge bake sale
WE ARE PROUD OF OUR SPONSORS
Click here to learn more about them.....
Chili Challenge Cooks
Sheltering Hands invites you to participate and share your chili ...just the chili the recipe remains your 'secret'!
provide a 10 by 10 space on site and each participant will provide their imagination
and creative display for their unique chili. This event is a great way to promote your business, organization or simply yourself.
Participants bring their own Table, Chairs, Decorations, Canopy, and something to keep your chili hot. In addition Health Department rules and regulations require each participant bring a thermometer and gloves to handle food.
There is a $20.00 entry fee for each of the below listed categories you enter. Each category has it's own rules, scroll to the bottom of the page to review the rules for each category.
(Chili Appreciation Society International)
- Chili Paw Challenge.
(Open for Shelters, Rescues and Veterinarians.
Chili Paw Challenge entries will also get an entry in CASI Chili at no additional charge. )
It is unfortunate when a new, excited chili cook attends his or her first chili cook-off, spends quite a bit of money for the entry fees, travel, ingredients and equipment, and finds the chili cooked is not “competitive”. This turns many first-time cooks away, and they never come back. Depending on what category you're cooking in please read below for the rules for each category
To pre-register to cook or to receive more information
Or for more information contact the chili event coordinator at 352-208-1162 or e-mail
Chili Challenge Guidelines
- SETUP THE NIGHT OF FRIDAY, JANUARY 8TH, 2021 WILL BE FROM 6:00PM TO 9:00PM
- ST-UP THE DAY OF THE EVENT WILL BEGIN AT 7:00AM to 11:00AM. A SITE MAP WITH YOUR SPACE NUMBER WILL BE E-MAILED 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO THE EVENT.
- YOU MUST COOK A MINIMUM OF 4 GALLONS OF GIVE AWAY CHILI. HOWEVER, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO MAKE MORE SO THAT YOU WILL NOT RUN OUT DURING JUDGING.
- SPACES ARE APPROXIMATELY 10 x 10 AND WILL ACCOMMODATE A 10 x 10 CANOPY.
- YOU ARE REQUIRED TO BRING YOUR OWN TABLE, CHAIRS, AND CANOPY.
- YOU MUST KEEP YOUR CHILI HOT (HEALTH DEPT. REGULATIONS) TO DO THIS YOU NEED TO USE A GAS GRILL, CAMP STOVE, HOTEL PAN OR PORTABLE PROPANE STOVE.
- ELECTRICITY AND WATER ARE NOT AVAILABLE ON SITE.
- YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR OWN WATER, TOWELS AND SOAP FOR WASHING HANDS.
- ALL DISPLAYS, BOOTH DECORATION MUST BE SUITABLE FOR OUR FAMILY EVENT.
- JUDGING WILL TAKE PLACE FOR BOOTH DECORATION BETWEEN 1:00pm AND 2:00pm.
- TASTING AND GENERAL PUBLIC ADMITTANCE BEGINS AT 12:00PM AND WILL CLOSE AT 3:00PM. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUCED AT 3:30PM.
- CHILI SAMPLES CAN ONLY BE SERVED TO ADULTS AND CHILDREN WITH WRIST BANDS ONLY.
- TASTING CUPS AND SPOONS WILL BE PROVIDED BY SHELTERING HANDS. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN FOOD HANDLERS GLOVES AND WASHING STATIONS.
- ALL VEHICLES MUST BE REMOVED FROM SITE IMMEDIATELY AFTER SET-UP. YOU WILL BE DIRECTED TO COOKS PARKING.
- BOOTH SPACE CLEAN-UP IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PARTICIPANT.
- ENTRY FEES ARE REFUNDABLE; HOWEVER, NO SHOW IT WILL BE NON-REFUNDABLE.
- SHELTERING HANDS ASSUMES NO REPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS, DAMAGE, INJURY OR CLAIM ARISING OUT OF THE PARTICIPANT’S ACT OR OMISSIONS DURING THIS EVENT.
What Equipment will you need?
Most chili cook offs take place outdoors. Cooks must provide their own equipment for cooking. Seasoned competition chili cooks will come to the cook off with canopies, tables, decorated booths and more. In addition to your meat and cooking ingredients, you will may want to bring the following extra gear:
- Dipping or serving spoon
- Chili pot with lid*, 5-8-quart variety
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Portable outdoor-style camp stove
- Heat diffuser (inexpensive metal device to spread flames)
- Can opener
- Matches / lighter
- Propane fuel cylinder
- paper towels
- Ladle, large and small
- Ice chest and ice
- Long-handled spoon
- Cutting board
- o 1 to 3 gallons water - Dishpan, dish soap, scrubbers, etc.
- Thermometer (required by Health Department)
- Gloves for food handling (required by Health Department)
Since samples of your chili are usually given out to the public, most cook offs fall under the jurisdiction of local health departments. Not everything on this list needs to be brought. This is just a list of items most chili cook off teams find helpful at events.
There are 5 Criteria’s judges are looking at:
- After Taste
Judges will score each chili on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the highest score. At the end of judging all judges’ sheets will be tallied into a whole score. Whoever has the highest score is the winner for that day. It is a blind judging, no one knows which is which chili. The winners are found out as the numbered cup is called. No one knows the winner until we all know the winner.
What are the rules?
Rules differ from CASI to Open to Chili Paw Challenge - read below: (you do not have to be a CASI member to cook in CASI)
CASI CHILI COOKING RULES - CASI Category Only
A. CHILI COOKED ON SITE - All chili must be cooked from scratch on site the day of the cook-off. All chili must be prepared in the open (no cooking in motor homes, etc.). Chili is cooked usually under canopies.
1. CHILI COOKED FROM SCRATCH - "Scratch" is defined as starting with raw meat. No marinating is
allowed. Commercial chili powder is permissible, but complete commercial chili mixes ("just add meat" mixes that contain pre-measured spices) are NOT permitted.
2. NO FILLERS IN CHILI - Beans, macaroni, rice, hominy, or other similar ingredients are not permitted.
3. SANITATION - Cooks are to prepare and cook chili in as sanitary a manner as possible.
a. INSPECTION OF COOKING CONDITIONS - Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by the head judge or his/her designee and CASI Referee. (Failure to comply is subject to disqualification.)
b. COOKS MAY HAVE TO TASTE THEIR CHILI - At the discretion of the head judge or CASI Referee, chili cooks may be required to remove the lids from their chili cups and taste their chili before turning in for judging. (If a contestant refuses, his or her chili will be disqualified.)
B. ONE CHILI PER COOK - Each head cook is responsible for preparing one pot of chili that he or she intends to be judged and turning in one judging cup from that pot. No more than one judging sample can be taken from any one pot.
C. COOKS MUST SIGN NUMBER SLIPS - Chili cooks must sign their secret number slips in ink with their first and last names at the time cups are issued. Winners will not be eligible if their secret numbers are unsigned when presented. NOTE: Cooks must present their signed secret numbers to win.
D. PROTECT THE JUDGING CUP - Once judging cups have been issued, each head cook is responsible for his or her judging cup. Cooks must not remove or tamper with the numbers on the outside of the cups. Any marked or altered cup must be replaced prior to turn-in or it will be disqualified.
E. FILLING CUPS - Cups will be filled ¾ full or to the level designated at the cooks' meeting.
F. CHILI TURN-IN - Chili will be turned in at the place and time designated at the cooks' meeting or as otherwise designated by the head judge.
G. PYROTECHNICS - No chili contestant may discharge firearms or use any pyrotechnics or explosives at a chili cook off. Contestants discharging firearms and/or using explosives or other pyrotechnics will be disqualified from the chili cook off.
H. PENALTIES - Failure to comply with CASI rules will result in disqualification of an individual cook for the cook off. Decisions of the official(s) are final. In case of disqualification, the CASI official monitoring the cook off will immediately notify the head cook and give a reason for disqualification. In the event disqualification of a cup of chili occurs after judging has started, it is not necessary that the cook be located or given an explanation for the disqualification.
CASI chili turned into judging has to go by the CASI rules. Chili given to public for samples may be made at home before the event. I personally make my "give out chili" before the event at home and I cook a 2 1/2 pound recipe the day of event to give to the judges.
OPEN Category Rules:
Anything goes, any fillers (beans, corn, etc.) and can be made before the cook off, but you must have a booth to give out chili to the public.
Chili Paw Challenge Category Rules:
Anything goes, any fillers (beans, corn, etc.) and can be made before the cook off, but you must have a booth to give out chili to the public. Must be a Rescue, Shelter or Veterinarians to participate.