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FIEA Announces 13th Annual Chili Cook-off on February 16

January 22, 2024

Textured fiery background with orange crockpot of steaming chili with text on top that reads FIEA's 13th Annual Chili Cook-off on February 16 at 12 p.m. in the Soundstage
Do you have the best chili in UCF Downtown? Submit a crockpot of at least 6 to 8 quarts of your very best chili to enter FIEA’s 13th Annual Chili Cook-off on February 16! The sampling will begin at 12 p.m. in the Soundstage at UCF Downtown.

Enter as an individual or a team! Teams can be formed from FIEA students or capstone teams, FIEA faculty/staff, as well as other groups from around UCF Downtown, Nicholson School of Communication, and around Creative Village. Judges will recognize 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Vegetarian chilis and cornbread are welcome! Hot dogs, condiments and drinks will be provided.

Individuals and teams who enter can attend for free.

Enter now and bring it!

Know Before You Go: Bringing in Your Chili and Cornbread

You will not have enough time to warm your chili fully in the crockpot alone if it was refrigerated the night before. It needs to be re-heated and then kept warm in the crockpot. We DO NOT have burners at FIEA to warm cold pots of chili.

In addition, many bring add-ons like shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos, sour cream, fritos, etc. These add-ons are not part of the judging, so they may add to your chili experience, but only the chili is being judged.

UCF Downtown staff and students serve themselves chili in crockpots lined up along long tables with black tablecloths in the CMB Soundstage

How Chili Will Be Judged

Below is the rubric the judges will be using:

  • COLOR: Chili should look good (appearance). Allow some leeway when evaluating color. For example, “red” chili may range from reddish to reddish-brown or brown. Not so good are shades of gray, black, yellow, pink, or camouflage. Excessive grease also mars appearance. Lighting conditions vary which can affect color and appearance evaluation.
  • AROMA: Chili should smell good. A good aroma is a tipoff to good taste. Beware of strange aromas or just plain bad smells.
  • CONSISTENCY: Chili should be a good meat and gravy combination. Chili should not be dry, watery, grainy, lumpy, or greasy, but just good and smooth. Meat should be tender but not broken down. We are allowing beans in this competition, but normally any filler, including beans would be excluded.
  • TASTE: Chili should taste good above all else. Although individual opinions will vary, a really good taste will stand out.
  • AFTERTASTE: Residual taste should be pleasant (not bitter, metallic, or foul). Also present may be afterbite, which is that glow that develops in the mouth (front bite) and throat (back bite) that says this is chili rather than soup or stew. The absence, presence, or level of bite is a matter of personal preference.
Interesting in judging the competition?

If you can differentiate the good ones from the great ones, contact John Rotolo to get into the judging committee.