The Jersey City West Side Chili Cook Off FAQ

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Get ready! Sign up to compete by October 15

We can’t wait to try your chili!

Where is the cook off? The cook off is located in Lincoln Park in Jersey City, NJ. It will be situated close to the Gallo Center, which is near the Harrison Avenue/West Side entrance of the park. If you’re lost, look for the big fountain – we are nearby.

Is there parking available? Yes – there is free parking available inside Lincoln Park.

When is it? Sunday, October 21st at HIGH NOON!

I want to enter! What do I do?! Fill out this form, and then come to Lincoln Park with your chili on Oct 2 at 11:30am.

What kinds of chili are allowed?  ALL kinds. If you can call it chili, you can enter it – and we want it! Beef chili, pork chili, vegan chili, super spicy, beans/no beans, tomatoes/no tomatoes…. However you define it. We welcome all kinds of chili!

Can I bring extras for my chili – like chips, sour cream, cheese, etc? Absolutely. Any sort of extras you want to bring are totally fine. Or if you want to be a purist and only bring your chili – that’s fine too.

How much should I bring? Last year we had 300 hungry people show up at the cook off. We will provide you with small tasting cups (each holds about two tablespoons of chili) to help feed them. It’s up to you how much to make, but remember that people can’t vote for you if you run out of food and they can’t taste it.

Can I enter more than one chili?  Yes – you may enter as many chilis as you like. However, please remember that there is ONE winner in each category (the People’s Choice and the Judges’ Choice). Bringing multiple chilis may mean that you are dividing your chances of winning. But that is totally up to you.

How is a winner decided? There are two competitions – the People’s Choice and the Judges’ Choice. The People’s Choice is decided on a popular vote from all the people who come to the cook off (bring lots of your friends so they can vote for you!). The Judges’ Choice is made up of a small committee of experts in the media and food industry.

Who are the judges? We are still finalizing our judges for this year. Check back in early October for a list.

What kind of a set up do I get? You get at least half of a 6’ folding table, a simple chafing set, and a sterno. We also supply tasting cups (about two tablespoons each). Anything else you’ll need to show off or serve your chili, you will need to bring. Please note that this event is outside and electricity is not provided. Want to decorate your part of the table? Bring any decorations, signs, etc that you like! (If you have an extra folding table you can bring, then you can have an even larger area to set up on.)

Do I need to live in the West Side to compete or attend? Nope. We welcome all.

When do I need to enter by? October 15th. 

How much does it cost to go? The Jersey City West Side Chili Cook Off is FREE and sponsored by WSCA… but we welcome your contributions. Just a dollar or two donation will help us continue this great event and keep it open to all for years to come.

How many people come to the chili cook off? Last year we had over 300!

How many people competed last year? We had twenty different kinds of chili last year!

I still have more questions!!!! Email us at: jcwsca@gmail.com.