Sysco Foods has graciously offered the following base ingredients for your use if desired. Please indicate on your registration if you’d like these ingredients made available to you for the contest upon check-in Sat., Sept 28, 2019:

  • 10lbs of ground beef
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned kidney beans
  • Fresh yellow onions

The Rules and Regulations for the 2019 Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival are as follows:

1. No ingredient may be “pre-cooked” in any way prior to the commencement of the official cook-off. The only exceptions are canned or bottled tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, pepper sauce, beans, beverages, broth and grinding and/or mixing of spices. Meat may be treated, pre-cut or ground. MEAT MAY NOT BE PRE-COOKED, in any manner. If the meat has been pre-cooked in any way entry WILL BE immediately disqualified. All other ingredients must be thoroughly cleaned during the preparation period. Raw beans may be soaked the evening prior, but MUST BE thoroughly rinsed on-site during the preparation period.

2. The head chef must be at least 18 years old. Teams should limit their size to operate safely within the confined 10′x10′ preparation area.

3a. The cooking period will be a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 7 hours. You may begin check-in at 8am, Saturday, September 28, 2019 at One Lumos Plaza. You may begin cooking when you’ve completed set-up, and removed your vehicle(s) from the event grounds. No vehicle will be allowed entry after 12pm under any circumstance. Chili samples will be collected at 3:30pm. Public tasting will be begin promptly at 4pm. Serving guests before 4pm is grounds for disqualification. Cooking during entire cooking period is at the sole discretion of the contestant.

3b. If you elect to utilize Sysco Foods base ingredients, you must check in prior to 10am. Please come prepared to carry ingredients to your cooking area.

4. A representative of the sponsoring organization shall conduct a contestant’s meeting, at which time final instructions are to be given and questions answered. The meeting will take place at 12pm.

5a. Contestants are responsible for supplying all of their own cooking utensils, etc. The sponsors of the cook-off will provide an area for each contestant. Contestants are responsible for securing and weighing down their own tent.

5b. The 2019 event marks the beginning of our first “Zero-Waste” Festival. Please consider how your team might contribute to the success of preparing your delicious chili recipe using zero plastic, or non-recyclable food preparation material. A separate $250 cash prize will be awarded to the most “Eco-Friendly” Chili Team.

6. Each contestant must cook a minimum of 10 gallons (we recommend more…but it’s up to you) of competition chili which will be served by the contestant and their team to the general public. There are four awesome cash prizes. The fact is, you improve your chances, if you still have chili to offer the eager and hungry voter. Judge sampling officially begins at 3:30pm and Public sampling begins at 4:00pm SHARP, so…if you run out of chili at 4:30pm, the odds are, you’re also out of votes. We close off voting at 6pm, or when it becomes apparent that over 75% of contestants have run out of chili, whichever comes first.

7. Ladles, sampling compostable containers and compostable spoons will be provided by the festival coordinator. We will have over 20,000 containers and spoons available for this year’s competition.

8. Contestants MUST comply with State and Local agency health regulations. All raw food preparation MUST be done wearing food grade gloves. A limited supply of gloves will be available. Failure to do so will result in an immediate disqualification. At their sole discretion, event organizer reserves the right to remove contestant at any time during the day of the event from public food service. Contestant agrees that there shall be no remuneration from event organizer.

9a. Each contestant will be assigned a contestant’s number by the Chief Scorekeeper.

9b. Scoring will occur as follows: Four (4) independent judges will sample each contestant’s chili beginning at 3:30pm as part of a blind taste test. Each judge will score entries on a system of 0-20 possible points per judge on flavor, texture of the meat, consistency, blend of spices, aroma, color, and overall quality. Rankings will be then be calculated with judge scores accounting for up to 20 points each of the overall score (up to 80 points), with the remaining potential 20 points of the overall score being provided by the general public. The general public will be asked to simply vote for their favorite chili, and the contestant receiving the highest vote will receive 20 points, followed by 19, 18 and so on. The public will be encouraged to vote for the chili they like best based on the following major considerations: good flavor, texture of the meat, consistency, blend of spices, aroma and color.

11. A ballot box with your corresponding contestant number will be provided by the festival coordinator.

12. In the spirit of friendly competition, please let the voter do their job so that they vote for the best chili, not the best bully.

Awards are as follows:

Peoples Choice:
1st Place ($1,000)
2nd Place ($500)
3rd Place ($500)


All winners receive plaque or trophy.

The Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival is taking place along Lumos Plaza in Downtown Waynesboro. Tents must be securely weighted down as they will be on an asphalt surface, you MUST BRING YOUR OWN cinder blocks or sand bags to weigh down your tent. Event organizers are not responsible for the stability of your tent. The event coordinator will be in contact with shortly after your registration to provide further event day details.

You are encouraged to check the event website ( and your email provided at the time of registration to ensure that the CHILI COMPETITION portion of the event has not been cancelled due to inclement weather. The live music component of the event will proceed rain or shine, however for the safety of all participants inclement weather may require the cancellation of the chili competition. No prizes will be awarded should the event be cancelled due to inclement weather or other acts of God.