The Ahwatukee Community Swim & Tennis Center is proud to be hosting the 14th Annual Chili Cook Off Festival, March 9 – 11th at Ahwatukee Park, 4700 E. Warner Road. Admission is FREE!
The fun begins on Friday, March 9 from 4 pm – 8 pm with rides and inflatables for the whole family provided by Fun N Jump. Tickets are $1 each or purchase an unlimited ride wristband for $20. Tickets for each attraction range from 3 – 5 tickets. Hours for Saturday are 10 am – 8 pm and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.
The Chili Cook Off on Saturday and Sunday is one of our hottest events of the year with diverse recipes from across the region. Cooks from all over the country travel here to compete for the cash prizes and their chance to qualify to compete at the International Chili Society World Championships. But, don’t let that scare you. You, too, can compete and join these foodies that love to cook, share their cooking tips and above all, have a great time!
The cook offs are sanctioned by the International Chili Society. Back in 1967, a group of friends started a “Friendly” chili competition in Terlinqua, Texas. Why did they start the competition? Well, they all had one thing in common – each thought he made the best chili and he knew more about chili than anyone else. The ICS continues to uphold the same core values of their founders by bringing people together to enjoy healthy competition and America’s great culinary creation – CHILI! Their mission is to continuously improve chili while raising money for charities and non-profits year-round. The ICS cookoffs the Swim & Tennis Center are hosting will benefit the 100 Club of Arizona and the Ahwatukee Little League.
If you have a great chili recipe and want to be involved in this friendly competition, the fee is only $10 for the ICS Membership and entry fees range from $15 - $35. The competition categories are traditional red chili, chili verde, homestyle, and salsa. There is also a Youth Division for under 18 years old that will compete in Traditional Red Chili on Saturday only. This is a great event for younger folks who love to cook and be a part of friendly competition. This is truly an event that the entire family can participate in. Prize money ranges from $75 - $500 depending on the category. The 1st place winners in each category on each day qualifies them to compete at the ICS World Championships in October. Prize money at the World Competition is up to $25,000. Great incentive to cook that favorite recipe on March 10 and/or 11th at Ahwatukee Park. We would love to have more locals participating. So, go solo or get your team together and sign up now!
If you just want to come out and sample some of the best chili in town, chili tasting kits are only $6. Each chili tasting kit provides 7 sample cups. The chili tasting times are Saturday from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm and Sunday from 11 am – 2 pm. The chili competition begins for participating cooks at 8 am and awards are announced at approximately 4 pm.
The festival will also provide food, beer, wine and a talented, live band, Swains World, on Saturday, 2 pm – 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm. So, bring your taste buds, chair or blanket and enjoy the day! Free Parking and Free Admission.