The East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off: Enjoy the ‘spice’ of fall

Posted on October 29, 2013 by Mary Ellen Brewington

At Cherokee Distributing Company, we are huge fans of fall and the great times that come with it.  Between football parties, Halloween and other fall time festivities, this season is a recipe for fun.

We are looking forward to the 8th Annual East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. This year’s cook-off is being held Sunday, Nov. 3, from noon until 6 p.m. at World’s Fair Park.  

As a sponsor, we may be a tad partial, but between the actual cook-off and the live music, giveaways and additional festivities, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. And, even better, all proceeds from the event are donated directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank and its efforts to feed the hungry in our community.

This year’s cook-off has entry categories ranging from the traditional red bean and beef chili to inventive white chicken varieties. As many as 30 teams will cook up to 25 gallons of their signature hot, mild, vegetarian, chicken or ‘secret ingredient’ chili recipes – which means a lot of tasty opportunities for us. We’re thinking a cold glass of Shiner Bock made by Spoetzl Brewery or a bottle of Lagunitas IPA brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company would be a perfect addition to the tasting festivities.

For those who aren’t culinary connoisseurs, the cook-off has plenty to offer outside of the chili aspects of the afternoon. For instance, add some spice to your stay at the event by entering the Hot Chili Pepper Eating Contest. But be sure to keep a glass of something cold and frosty in case the heat gets to be a bit much – the complex, sweet flavors of Angry Orchard Crisp Apple created by Angry Orchard Cider Company would serve as a good distraction from the burn while quenching your thirst.

The cook-off is a family affair, complete with a Kids Fun Zone and playground of inflatables. Adults are encouraged to play, as well, by entering the Chili Corn Hole Tournament.

Live local music by the RMS Band, and Diva and the Funkateers will also be featured, as well as the Chili Beer Garden, where adults can enjoy beers from all over the world. Check out your favorite Cherokee Distributing Company brands at the garden, such as Holland’s Amstel Light and Mexico’s Dos Equis Special Lager, both produced by Heineken USA, as well as the tasty brews we mentioned would pair well with your chili bowls!

Entry to the East Tennessee Chili Cook-Off is $12, or you can purchase advance tickets online via the Second Harvest website for $10. If ordering online, please select “Chili Cookoff” for the use of funds.

So, have fun, eat well and, as always, drink responsibly!

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