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Chili Cook-Off Judging

July 9, 2012

I had volunteered my husband, being in a meeting and hearing they needed a judge for the Chili Cook-Off at the Mountain State Arts and Crafts Festival in Ripley.  He’s from Texas and a good cook, so very sure of his ability to know if there is enough cumin or whatever.

When we got there they asked me to be a judge too. I told them I could tell them if I like it or not, but not about what is in it. Good enough, they said.

There were about ten of us judges. We were gathered for a meeting and the few requirements were related:

1. No double dipping with the spoons (We went through 300 easily)

2, Only constructive comments (If the taste is not good, say why…not just that it is good for the trash)

3. No discussion between the judges (They didn’t mean we had to be silent, but actually, with all the tasting, who had time to talk?)

4. Circle the tasting table in clock-wise movement. (Keep traffic moving smoothly)

We returned just after noon for the salsa competition, just after 2:00 for the chili verde and at 3:00 for the red chili. I think the biggest surprise is that nothing was too hot for me. We had sour cream, grapes and pieces of pita bread to help neutralize our palates, and plenty of water. The water was especially helpful to help offset the heat of the air.

Each contestant’s offering was in a tub with a number. We had no idea who had submitted which. This caution did not matter to me, as I did not know anyone, but some of the judges were regulars and knew many of the contestants who also were regulars.

When I had participated on Team Cimino in January at the Cast Iron Skillet Cookoff at the Greenbrier I had chatted with the judges about how they handled all the tasting. Their words of experience stayed with me and I utilized it.  Even tho the volume of what I had to taste was significantly less than what they experienced, I found one partial spoonful of each chili was enough to determine if it was in the top 3, and then a second spoonful helped me confirm that and give it a priority.

In a couple of weeks my husband and I will be judges once again at the Mountain Lakes Festival  where the Country Roads cook-off competition will be held on Saturday, July 21. They are still accepting competitors, so go to the link and get the entry form!!  Cookoff Registration

Country Roads Cook-Off- July 21st, 2012

The Country Roads Cook-Off focuses on creating a traditional Appalachian dish with the cook’s own new interpretation. The participants must be amateur cooks and they can enter any dish they feel will win over the judges.

The cook-off begins at 11:00am and prizes will be awarded for winning dishes, including a People’s Choice Award. The cooks have from 11am to 12noon to creat their dishes and prepare for judging! The Cook-Off is held at Sutton Lake along with the rest of Mountain Lakes Festival.

The sponsors for this event are WVFARM2U Collaborative and Cafe Cimino Country Inn. Print out your copy of the entry form and come cook with us!! Compete for up to $300.00 in cash prizes just for cooking your recipe!!    

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2012 8:22 am

    I bet that was fun to be a chili cook off judge!! Looks great 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 8:25 am

      It was a lot of fun and I will be a better judge for the next competition 2 Saturdays from now…also that will be more interesting because it will all be different. Maybe 5 or 8 different entrees, desserts, salads, ect

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