A chili cookoff is a social event, similar
to a barbecue, in which competitors prepare their own particular recipe for chili
con carne and submit it for taste testing. A cookoff may be an informal gathering
with the simple goal of sharing recipes and enjoying food, or it may be a large-scale event with an official panel of judges
and substantial prizes for winners.
The Chili Appreciation Society International sanctions over 550 cookoffs annually
that raise over $1,000,000.00 for charity. Corporate CASI, which has the function of sanctioning all of these cookoffs, doing
the necessary work to tabulate cookoff results, and putting on the annual Terlingua International Chili Championship, has
an annual income of approximately $250,000.00. Out of this annual income, not only were we able to cover all of the associated
costs and expenses of the TICC, but we were able to contribute close to $60,000.00 to charity. Keep in mind that CASI is a
501(c)(3) corporation, which means that we have no compensated officers or employees. This allows us to channel all of our
excess profits to charity.
The International Chili Society (ICS) organizes chili cookoffs as fundraisers.
Its annual cookoffs are on a grand scale, with regional qualifying events around the world attracting tens of thousands of
participants and a "World Championship" cookoff held in October. The ICS has raised millions of dollars for charity while
still awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars to winners.
As early as 1970, many communities have hosted non-ICS cookoffs, leading to a competing
"World Championship" cookoff in Terlingua,
Notable cookoffs include:
the Chilympiad in San Marcos,
Texas (for men only)
the Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned
cookoff in Luckenbach,
the Chili Appreciation Society International Chili Championship in Terlingua,
the Frank X. Tolbert/Wick Fowler World Chili Championships in Terlingua,