Do you have what it take to wow tastebuds and win the golden ticket and a shot at $100,000? Sign up your chili team today.

Sign up today for the Gulf Coast Chili Cook-Off!

Sign up today for the Gulf Coast Chili Cookoff! This annual event will take place at the Hospitality Resort Management Center, located on the Jefferson Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Chili Cookoff will be held on Saturday, April 21, noon-3 p.m.


Winners will receive awards, recognition from local media outlets and more importantly: BRAGGING RIGHTS. The following awards will be given:

  • BEST OF SHOW- Golden Ticket to World Food Championships, including registration fee and travel/ingredient allowance; Championship trophy (rotating each year)
  • BEST OVERALL PRESENTATION- Awarded to the team with the best decorated booth, costumes, etc.
  • PEOPLES’ CHOICE- Awarded to the team with the most votes by tasters.

The Chili Cookff will once again serve as a Preferred Qualifier for the World Food Championships (WFC). The winner of the Chili Cookoff’s Best of Show will win a Golden Ticket invitation to compete in the 2018 WFC in Orange Beach, Alabama, November 7-11. The Best of Show prize will also include payment of the WFC entry/registration fee and $1,000 toward travel and/or ingredient expense upon arrival at the WFC.

Proceeds raised by the competition will benefit the MGCCC Foundation, which funds student scholarships. This is an outstanding opportunity to help a good cause, receive recognition for your company or group, and have fun…all at the same time!


The following rules apply to all contestants:

  1. Entry fee is $50.
  2. Entry Deadline: Contestants must complete an application and submit it to the Hospitality Resort Management Center Office by 5 p.m., April 13, 2018.
  3. Each team will provide a minimum of 10 gallons of chili.
  4. Teams are responsible for providing their own ingredients.
  5. Each team may choose to prepare the chili in advance or prepare on site but must provide a list of ingredients upon arrival at the event.
  6. The public will be invited to pay a fee to enter the competition area and sample the chili. Each team will serve samples to the public. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will provide sample-size serving cups, spoons and napkins. Teams are welcome to provide their own supplies if they choose.
  7. Booth spaces will be 12’x12,’ no larger.
  8. Set up can begin on Saturday, April 21, 2018, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Set-up must be complete no later
  10. Booth spaces will be assigned by the committee. Please check in at the Team/Vendor registration area upon arrival.
  11. Unloading: It’s important to move your vehicle immediately after unloading (before you begin to set up) to a parking space across the street from the HRM Center to make room for other teams to unload. The competition area and festival grounds must be clear of all vehicles by 9 a.m.
  12. Admission/Passes: At the event, you will receive five (5) Team Member Passes. The passes are required for entry into the Chili Cookoff and must be visibly worn at all times. You will be required to provide the pass or pay the entry fees. If you need more than five, we request that you purchase additional passes ($10/each). As a reminder, this is a fundraiser, so please consider the purchase of additional passes as a donation for a good cause. You can purchase additional passes in advance through the Hospitality Resort Management Center office or online at by clicking the “Tickets and Payments” tab and selecting “Additional Team Member Passes.”
  13. You must keep your booth open during the hours of the Chili Cookoff, noon – 3 p.m.
  14. Each entrant will need to provide his or her own plywood to place beneath propane burners, tables, chairs, work surfaces, cooking equipment, utensils, umbrellas, tents, propane stove and fire extinguisher, etc. Booths will be located in the parking lot of the Hospitality Resort Management Center. The Gulf Coast Chili Cookoff Committee is not responsible for any set up or tear down of booths. Additional recommendations include battery-operated fans, propane tanks/burners and or generators. Electrical access may be purchased in advance for $25. The ability to purchase electrical access on site may not be available unless purchased prior to the event.
  15. Teams will ensure that all cooking and serving areas are clean and sanitary. Each team should make plans for hand-washing facilities, including warm water, soap, bucket/container and towels/paper towels for drying. Plastic gloves are to be worn by all cooks and assistants while cooking and serving samples to the public.
  16. No (readily consumable) food items can be sold at your booth. In other words, it’s ok to sell cookbooks, spices, cooking utensils, etc. You may NOT sell beverages of any kind.
  17. Teams are required to submit an ingredient list. This list will be held confidentially, but must be included because this event is a World Food Championship qualifying event.
  18. Teams are asked to decorate around their booth/table. (A “Best Overall Presentation” award will be given). Ideas to consider include booth decorations, costumes, company/organization banners, signs, music, giveaways/ trinkets, recipe handouts, balloons, and any other ways to make your booth stand out. The event should be fun for your team and the public. Please do not bring any decorations that you cannot take home with you. This includes sand, glitter, dirt or other items that are difficult to contain. The area must be left clean.
  19. Peoples’ Choice Award: Spectators will be given one (1) vote per person, along with instructions, as a way to vote for their favorite chili. Teams are asked to provide a labeled container (jar, box, etc.) to be kept at their table. The public will deposit their votes in the container of their choice to vote for their favorite chili. The containers will be collected shortly after 2:30 p.m., and the tickets will be counted. The team with the most tickets wins the Peoples’ Choice Award.
  20. Judging will take place between noon – 1 p.m. A committee member will come to your booth between noon and 1 p.m. to retrieve a sample for the judges. You will provide one bowl for each judge to taste. Chili entries will be assigned a number, which will be clearly labeled on the container. Care will be taken to ensure that judging is blind. Judges will consider Aroma, Consistency, Taste and Aftertaste. THE DECISIONS OF THE JUDGES SHALL BE FINAL. Awards will be announced at 3 p.m.