I am known for hosting a party with a theme. You may have caught one of my crazy annual Couples Olympics parties as examples. This Christmas, for our party, we decided to host a chili cook off. I have never done this before, but I came up with my own rules and it ended up turning out to be a blast. So, here are my personal Chili Cook Off rules as well as the free score sheet I made that you can download and use for your own chili cook off party.
What Should the Guests Bring?
Our party was intended to be very casual, laid back, and fun. Our rules were basically anything goes. You could make a chili appetizer, chili dessert, a traditional pot of chili, or whatever you want. Each person or couple had to bring their own garnishes, toppings, or anything that would help in their presentation. I, the hostess, provided small disposable bowls, spoons, napkins, and outlets for crockpots (ha!). I also provided Chili Name Cards. You can print them here for free. Each entry should have a name. This name was entered onto the chili score sheet.
For each dish entry into the cook off, there was a fee of $10.00. You could enter as a couple, or by yourself. You could also enter more than one dish if you wanted, however each dish had a $10.00 entry fee. The winner takes all.
Our party was fairly small and intimate. So, to start the cook off, each person prepared ten taster bowls, complete with toppings and garnishes. This would be considered for the presentation category. The Chili Name Card was set up at each station as well and we all walked around and took our time tasting and scoring.
Print your free Chili Cook Off Score Sheet here.
There were ten tasters/scorers at our party. Each person scored each dish but did not score their own. Each score card has five categories:
- Overall Impression
Each category received a score from 1-5, 5 being the best. Each person totals each column. Each score card has enough room to score five dishes. In our case, each person used two score sheets. I collected the score sheets at the end and totaled the scores to come up with the winner.
In Case of a Tie
Our scores were very different, so a tie wasn’t an issue. However, if there is a tie, I would suggest simply splitting the money down the middle!
Types of Chili
I have to say that all of the dishes were so good! Here is what we had:
- Chili with Lime and Corn served with tortilla chips, cilantro, lime wedge, and dollop of sour cream.
- Vegetable ground turkey chili.
- Traditional chili served with sour cream and cheese.
- Baked bread rolls stuffed with chili and served with three different dipping sauces.
- White cheddar macaroni and cheese topped with tri tip steak chili and garnished with shredded cheese and green onions.
We also served side dishes to go with our chili. It was a casual eat when you want to type of party. We had chicken wings, fried shrimp, pretzel rolls, dip, several types of chocolate, chips, fresh veggies, meat and cheese platter, and Caesar salad.
This party was an absolute hit and I would do it again in a heartbeat! Hope you like my tips and find my free score card useful!
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