Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chili Cook-off Team Rules

As you know, we've been preparing for the 28th Annual Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off. Thanks to the Palo Alto team, we now have some specifics to work from -- this is going to be fun!

Here are the rules:
  1. Chili is defined as any kind of meat, or combination of meats, or beans in the case of vegetarian chili, cooked with chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients. This competition allows beans in all recipes.
  2. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Open, Corporate, Vegetarian, Best Overall Chili, Best Decorated Booth, and Best Spirit.
  3. No ingredient may be pre-cooked or treated in anyway prior to the preparation period, which begins at 9:00 a.m. - approximately one-half hour before the official commencement of the cook-off. The only exceptions to this rule are canned or bottled tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, peppers, pepper sauce, and beverages. Fresh peppers may be cooked prior to arrival, and dried beans may be soaked overnight. Meats may be ground, boned, and/or diced prior to the preparation period.
  4. The cooking period will be a minimum of 3 ½ hours, and a maximum of 4 hours. The Master of Ceremonies will announce the exact starting and ending times.
  5. Final instructions will be given during the cooks’ meeting; approximately 1 hour prior to the official start time.
  6. Cooks may prepare ingredients during the preparation period.
  7. Any preparation, storing, or handling of food must strictly follow Health Department requirements. (Information provided w/team confirmation packet)
  8. Chili teams are required to prepare a minimum of twelve (12) gallons of chili. Since people will hear how delicious your chili is, more is preferable.
  9. Teams must supply all their own cooking utensils, supplies, heat source, and materials. The City of Palo Alto will provide a temporary food booth in which all food must be prepared, cooked, and served. The City will also provide a utensil and hand wash set-up per Health Department requirements, and two 8-foot tables.
  10. Each team will be permitted a maximum of 3 cooks in their area.
  11. Each team may have a maximum of 20 assistants. Assistants are not official cooks and may not handle or prepare the food.
  12. Team demonstrations and presentations are permitted throughout the event, as long as they do not obstruct the public’s view of booths or the cooking process. Remember, in this cook-off, outrageous is good!
  13. Teams may set up their decorations and equipment according to the schedule provided.
  14. Teams may not sell their Chili. Chili samples may only be distributed to those who have purchased tasting kits.
  15. During the event, the Judging Coordinator will assign each team a number and will provide a container to present their chili to the judging area for the blind tasting.
  16. Each team must deliver its chili sample to the judging area no later than 1:45 p.m.
  17. The decision of the judges is final.
Next weekend we get together to try and combine the recipes tested last weekend. Big gaps in the plan include nailing down the onsite cooking rig and a plan for the booth! "Yes VeGan!" offers more than a few options -- I wonder if Obama is a vegan...

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