Chili contest coming in March

Do you think you have the best chili recipe around? Would you like to brag to friends that your chili is an honest-to-goodness “award winning” recipe? Or do you just love to eat the stuff? If you can say “yes” to one or all of those things about yourself, you won’t want to miss this year’s edition of the annual Exchange Club Chili Cookoff.

Hot off the success of last year’s inaugural event, the Bristol Exchange Club is hosting its second annual Chili Cookoff on Sunday, March 3. The area’s best chili chefs —and those who think they might be the best —will vie for one of seven chili-cookoff crowns. The event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center on Mix Street in Bristol. Prizes will be awarded between 4:30 and 5 p.m.

Awards will be presented in two categories: First, the Judges’ Awards, for which first-, second-, and third-place prizes will be presented; and then the coveted People’s Choice Awards, which will be chosen by event-goers. Judges will check out each chili’s aroma, texture, flavor, consistence, spice and taste, and appearance. People’s Choice Awards include categories for “Hottest (But Tasty)” and “Most Creative Presentation.” Finally, a third category, “Battle for the Bowl,” will feature entries from local high school teams.

For the chili cooks, the entry fee will be $25 per chili entered, and participants must bring at least six quarts of each chili. Contestants may enter more than one batch of chili. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. Cooks are also encouraged to bring the fun along with their Crock-Pots by decorating the table on which they’ll serve their chili to the public. Complete information and rules are available on the Bristol Exchange Club’s website at

Those wishing to participate by tasting the chili and voting on the People’s Choice Awards can purchase a ticket for $5. The ticket then serves as the ballot card.

The event is being held as a fundraiser for the club’s charitable efforts, which include college scholarships given annually to graduating local high-school seniors, thousands of dollars distributed annually to local nonprofits, and the club’s support of child abuse prevention efforts through the work of the Parent and ChildCenter at BristolHospital.

Jack Ferraro, event chair, said in a press release the event is more than just a way to help the community’s neediest – it’s also a great way to spend a late-winter Sunday afternoon. “If you have never been to a chili cook-off or festival, do not miss this event,” he said in the release. “You’ll have a great time whether you’re cooking or just eating.”

For more information, visit