Sample free chili at this weekend’s cookoff at Roan Mountain State Park

Published 9:41 am Thursday, October 1, 2015

Contributed Photo
On Saturday, spice masters will begin at 8 a.m. chopping, seasoning and simmering for the Roan Mountain State Park chili cook-off.
In the past, up to 50 people have attended to enjoy the free chili samples after they have been judged.
Thus far, more than 14 chefs have registered, but those interested may register at park headquarters or at the RMSP campground. Preregistration is required.
“People like it a lot. We have a bunch of returning chefs and a couple people that participate every year,” said Park Ranger Josh Howard.
Chilis will be judged at noon by four seasoned judges. Afterwards, people are welcome to sample the various chilis at no charge.
Judges chosen by Howard will select first-, second- and third-place winners based on aroma, texture and overall taste.
A winner will also be chosen for hottest chili and best display ambiance.
First place will receive two free nights at the RMSP cabins, and second place will get one free night at a cabin. Third place winner will get two free nights in the campground, and the hottest chili and best ambiance champions will receive one free night in the campground.
“They can make any kind of chili they want to, but generally judges will go for traditional chili that’s not too hot or too sweet for the first, second and third place winners,” said Howard. White chilis and other variations are welcomed.
The park will provide bowls and spoons, but chili masters must bring their own ingredients, utensils and skillets. They may pre-cook the meat, but everything else must be done on-site. Each cook is required to make one gallon of chili.
Cooks must bring their own stove or grill, and though the park can provide electricity to some, everyone is encouraged to supply their own fuel. If electrical hookups are needed, cooks must let the park know in advance.
The cookoff will take place at Picnic Shelter 3 near the campground, 1015 Tenn. Highway 143 in Roan Mountain. For more information, call the park at 423-772-0190.

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