Annual Chili Cookoff coming up at Roan Mountain State Park

Published 8:03 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Star File Photo A chili chef shows off her creation during a previous year's Chili Cookoff at Roan Mountain State Park.

Star File Photo
A chili chef shows off her creation during a previous year’s Chili Cookoff at Roan Mountain State Park.

Can you cook up a mean pot of chili?
Is your chili the hottest in the land?
If so, the annual Chili Cookoff at Roan Mountain State Park is coming up so get your pots ready, but you better hurry because slots for the contest are limited.
This year the park will host the annual event on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 8 a.m. until noon. Ranger Josh Howard, who is coordinating the event, said contest slots are limited due to the available space for the contest.
Participation in the contest is free, but contestants must pre-register with the park, Howard said. Applications for the contest are available for pickup at Park Headquarters, the Visitor’s Center and the Campground Check In Station.
As part of the contest, participants will have to prepare at least one gallon of chili on site at the contest.
“The ground meat, if they put that in there, is the only thing they can cook in advance, everything else has to be cooked and put together there,” Howard said.
There are a few different methods the chili chefs use when preparing their delicious dishes for the contest.
“Most people use propane, like a Coleman stove or a turkey fryer set up. Some people like to use crockpots,” Howard said, adding a limited number of electrical outlets are available. “I just ask them to let us know on their application if they are going to be cooking with gas or if they will need electricity. We try to accommodate them as much as we can.”
Howard asks that participants turn in their applications to compete by two weeks before the event, which would be Sept. 17.
On the day of the event, competitors can start setting up and cooking as early as 8 a.m. and judging will take place at noon, Howard said. Prizes will be given for First, Second and Third places as well as for Hottest Chili and Best Decorated Table.
Contest attendees will get the chance to sample the different types of chili entered in the contest with the park providing bowls and utensils.
The annual event is pretty popular, according to Howard, drawing between 50 and 100 attendees each year.
For more information on the contest, contact Roan Mountain State Park Headquarters at 423-772-0190.

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