Georgia State Chili Cook-off 2009
The 2009 Georgia State Chili Cook-off
was held June 27th, 2009 at
Rocco's Pub in Marietta, GA.
Rocco's is a neighborhood pub with laid back atmosphere - a perfect
place to have a chili cook-off. If you missed the chili
cook-off, stop by Rocco's anyway and have a bowl of their award
winning chili and a pint of beer. You won't be disappointed.
Competitors in the Georgia State
Chili Cook-off came from as far away as Illinois to compete in this
International Chili Society (ICS) sanctioned event. All event
proceeds went to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Chilis were judged based on
good flavor, texture of the meat, consistency, blend of spices,
aroma, and color as indicated by the rules of the ICS.
First place winner of the chili cook-off was Jim
Weller from Rockton, Illinois. Jim and his chili recipe took
home a prize of $1000 and will now advance to the World Championship
Chili Cook-off later this year. It has been reported that the
WCCC will be held in Charleston, WV this year in early October, but
no official reports have been posted.
The 2nd place finisher was Tom Hoover of
Columbus, OH and the chili made by Bob Hall of Taylorville, IL
In addition to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, a
People's Choice winner was determined by the attending
This year The People's Choice award went to the Sophisticated
Rednecks team whose alligator chili was fresh tasting and easy to
eat even in the sweltering Georgia heat.
To compete in an ICS chili cook-off a chili cook
must follow strict rules. People's Choice chili is required to
have beans or pasta whereas the competition chili is not allowed to
have beans or pasta.
Some of the competitors were happy to let me
taste both their People's Choice chili and their competition chili,
and all of the cooks and their friends were happy just to talk about
chili! I did discover a few chili cook-off etiquette rules
that I can't help but share with you.
First, there is no need to get a new spoon each
time you taste a chili. You should however cleanse your palate
and your spoon with beer between tastings!
A large number of people just carried their spoon around in their
Second, don't let your beer get too warm.
(Ok, that's just a rule in general not just a chili cook-off rule)
Beer and chili go together so well and this chili cook-off held no
exceptions to that rule. The spicy chili made by Kevin Miller
and Pete Miller is definitely worth mentioning for its beer
compatibility. Kevin and Pete have been competing for years,
bringing 18 years experience to the chili cook-off.
Other cooks like Mike Watson of Watson's Warriors
were stepping into the cook-off competition arena for the first time
and having a lot of fun. Their chili stood out with a
different flavor and consistency that I really liked.
I have to note that the Georgia State Chili
Cook-off was held on a day that reached into the mid-90's with
Georgia humidity. The Chili Mexicali concocted by Kevin
Williams and Bill Donnelly was a refreshing treat with corn, black
beans, and a squeeze of fresh cut lime.
Admittedly, this was my first time at a chili
cook-off, but I can assure you that it won't be my last. I'm
hooked. Everyone, the cooks, the sponsors (thanks to everyone at Rocco's), and the attendees love chili and beer - two
things that make a grand time. I left with a smile on my
face, a full tummy, and high hopes for attending another chili
cook-off very soon.