Chilly Willie Chili Challenge

Chilly Willie Chili Challenge
Posted on 01/04/2012

The spicy aroma of simmering chili will fill the air when chili cooks from throughout the United States converge on Orland Park to compete in the Village of Orland Park's annual "Chilly Willie Chili Challenge."

The regional competition will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at the Orland Park Civic Center, 14750 South Ravinia Avenue. (Ravinia Avenue is one block west of LaGrange Road/U.S. Route 45.) The public tasting at the competition will be held from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm, or until the chili runs out, whichever comes first. All-you-can-eat "tasting cups" will be available for chili lovers to purchase for five dollars each.

The International Chili Society (ICS) and the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) will hold competitions for red chili and salsa, along with conducting two other contests at this year's event. Verde, a green chili, will be judged and a People's Choice Award will be bestowed upon the winner determined by the public tasting.

"As guests arrive, each will receive a ticket to leave with the cook of the chili they like best to determine the People's Choice Award," explained Trustee Pat Gira, Chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee.

"The cook with the most tickets at the end of the event will be declared the People's Choice Award winner," she added.

Local cooks are invited to join the competition. Applications are available at the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall and the Recreation Administration Building.

"Eighty to ninety judges are needed to judge this event in order to make it a success," Gira added. Any individuals interested in judging the challenge should contact Patty Vlazny at 708/403-6145.

The winner of the ICS competition will qualify for the nationals held in Omaha, Nebraska, while the CASI top ten winners receive points to add to their total which will qualify cooks for their national competition held in Terlingua, Texas.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Village of Orland Park's Open Lands Program and Orland Park Theatre Troupe. For more information about Orland Park's annual Chilly Willie Chili Challenge, call the Village of Orland Park Recreation and Parks Department at 708/403-7275.

Chili Challenge Flyer