Welcome to the Carolinas Chili Championship! Where it is our mission to promote charitable organizations, schools and other groups/activities within the Indian Land Community and the County of Lancaster, South Carolina.
The Carolinas Chili Championship is proud to host this International Chili Society (ICS) sanctioned chili cook-off featuring competition in the following categories:
- ICS TRADITIONAL RED CHILI (ICS RED)
- ICS CHILI VERDE (ICS GREEN)
- ICS HOMESTYLE CHILI
- ICS VEGGIE CHILI
- CCC OPEN -ANYTHING GOES CHILI
** All entries can compete in People’s Choice and Showmanship**
- ICS RED CHILI: This is an International Chili Society sanctioned category. Traditional Red Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as “any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed. Preference is not given to either cut meat, ground meat, shredded meat or cubed meat.” No garnish is allowed.
- ICS CHILI VERDE: This is an International Chili Society sanctioned category. Chili Verde is defined by the International Chili Society “as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with green chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. Non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed. Preference is not given to either cut meat, ground meat, shredded meat or cubed meat.” No garnish is allowed.
- ICS HOMESTYLE CHILI: This is an International Chili Society sanctioned category. Homestyle Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as “any kind of meat or combination of meats and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. Homestyle chili may be any color. Beans are required. Preference is not given to either cut meat, ground meat, shredded meat or cubed meat. Seafood is allowed.” No garnish is allowed.
- ICS VEGGIE CHILI: This is an International Chili Society sanctioned category. Veggie Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as “any kind of vegetable, or combination of vegetables, cooked with chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. The use of meat and/or any meat byproduct is not allowed. The use of soy and meatless “meat” substitutes is allowed. Veggie chili may be any color.” No garnish is allowed.
- CCC OPEN “ANYTHING GOES” CHILI: This is not an ICS category. As the name suggests, there are no pre-set guidelines. Entries in this category can have meat, chili peppers, pre‐cooked or canned tomatoes, various spices, any variety of beans, pasta, and other ingredients; even garnishes are also an option. Chili that is entered in this category can be prepared on site or in advance and brought to the Carolinas Chili Championship ready to heat and serve. Contestants entering this category will do so as one of the following:
- Charity/Non-Profit – any not for profit enterprise. This is the only category pre-approved to hand out promotional materials.
- Commercial – any for profit enterprise.
CCC Open contestants are encouraged to enter one or more ICS categories; however, 1) the team must designate a head cook who secures an ICS membership and 2) the team’s ICS entries must meet all ICS requirements for the selected category/categories.
Entering any of the above categories also allows contestants to compete in the following:
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE:
CCC will provide an official container with the team number on the bottom. Each of the tasting kits provided to the public will include a token as well as a few other items. The contestant with the most tokens in their container wins the People’s Choice prize. The schedule in the Cook’s Packet will provide the time to return the container. Inviting family, friends, and co‐workers will increase chances to win.
Public sampling is a very important component of the Carolinas Chili Championship. Cook teams in all categories are required to provide a minimum of 2 gallons chili for public sampling but 5 – 10 gallons is recommended to ensure that you have enough chili to last throughout the event. The longer you have chili to serve the better your chances to claim the People’s Choice Award.
Costumes: Matching T‐shirts or aprons are options, however, know that judges are looking for splashy, colorful uniforms/costumes that represent the team name and theme.
Crowd Engagement: Cleverness, a sense of humor and playful antics that engage and entertain the crowd creating a sense of excitement will score well here. Carolinas Chili Championship asks that all contestants be willing to be photographed and interviewed.
Creativity: Judges will be looking for booth decor that conveys a theme and creates a memorable visual effect for the public.
Carolinas Chili Championship “Official” Rules
- A mandatory meeting for all cooks will be held immediately following the set up period the morning of the event in the judging area. Attendance by the head cook from each team is mandatory.
- Delivery of chili to the judging area will be during the official time set for that category. Late entries will not be accepted as entry times for some categories overlap.
- Chili should be prepared in the assigned space using a propane fueled heat source provided by the contestant. No heat source or utensils will be provided by the CCC.
- Contestants are responsible for compliance with the Health Codes.
- Animals are not permitted at the Carolinas Chili Championship; excluding service animals.
- All ingredients must be sourced to a licensed food manufacturer, wholesale supplier or retail store. Purchase receipts are recommended and may be required at some cook-offs. No ingredients are allowed that have originated from unlicensed growers or suppliers. No homegrown or home canned/bottled ingredients are allowed. No wild game meat is permitted, even if processed by a licensed facility. All ingredients are subject to inspection at any time, by CCC representatives or local and state officials.
- All food – whether stored, resting or cooking – must always be maintained at food-safe temperatures. Food temperatures are subject to inspection at any time by CCC representatives or local/state officials.
- The Carolinas Chili Championship is an excellent place to obtain community recognition and goodwill for businesses and to make positive contact with potential customers. However, contestants are prohibited from selling anything including food or beverages at the cook-off site. Distribution of advertising materials or pamphlets are permissible with prior approval by the Carolinas Chili Championship.
- All Carolinas Chili Championship decisions are final.
If competing in any of the ICS categories, pay close attention to these ICS requirements.
- To compete in any of the four ICS competitions you must be an active ICS member and be at least 18 years old.
- The winners in the ICS categories that meet ICS guidelines will qualify to compete in the World Championship Chili Cook-off!
- If there are any discrepancies between Carolinas Chili Championship “Official” rules and the ICS rules, the ICS rules prevail in the ICS categories. ICS rules are available on their website.
- The “Cooking period” for ICS entries will be communicated in advance of the event and reviewed during the mandatory Cooks Meeting.
- Each contestant must cook a minimum of two quarts of ICS competition chili prepared in one pot which will be submitted for judging. Sharing or splitting Chili or Chili Verde for judging with another contestant for the purpose of increasing the number of entries in any event will result in suspension of ICS membership for a minimum of one year.
- If entering more than one category the preparation of ingredients and cooking for each category must be separate.
- First time ICS cooks should review all ICS rules from (PDF LINK) or (Site: www.chilicookoff.com).