Two major International Chili Society cook-offs will be coming to Oklahoma this Fall. The first in Owasso, a district ICS cook-off and People’s Choice Owasso Community Resources Chilifest, Oct. 3rd and the second the ICS Oklahoma Championship Cook-Off with the Pryor Main St. Christmas Chilifest on Nov. 14th.
The best competition chili cooks in the world will be returning to Owasso in October of 2015 after a three year absence. The Owasso Community Resources Chilifest, sanctioned by the International Chili Society, will be held at Bailey Medical Center in northwest Owasso on Saturday, October 3rd.
“This will be an official International Chili Society cook-off where winners will qualify to compete in the ICS World Championship Chili Cook-Off and a local People’s Choice chili cook-off where teams will be competing to make the best chili for people to vote on,” said long-time chili cook-off organizer ChiliJohn Fenrich. “We have a great tradition of putting on really great cook-offs in Owasso. Our last cook-off here drew some 10,000 people,” Fenrich said. “Our local chili teams really get into the spirit of chili with booth decorations and costumes. We give prizes for best booth/showmanship as well as best People’s Choice chili and salsa.” The cook-off will benefit the Owasso Community Resources, which provides help and food bank benefits for Owasso area residents in need. “Having a chili cook-off of the high level of participation that comes with ChiliJohn’s leadership means we will be able to serve more clients and enhance the image of OCR,” said Randy Cowling, executive director for OCRC.
Tasting kits will be sold for the People’s Choice chili and salsa with proceeds going to benefit OCRC. International Chili Society competitors will be cooking to be winners in the red chili, chili verde and salsa categories. If the cook-off attracts more than 20 red chili cooks, 10 chili verde cooks and 10 salsa cooks it will be designated a “regional cook-off,” and will qualify the winners to compete in the 2016 ICS World Championship Chili Cook-Off. In addition to prizes for best chili and salsa, there will be challenge prizes for groups such as Public Safety, Youth Groups, Community Service Organizations and others. “Our Owasso winners in the International Chili Society competition have always placed high at the ICS World Championship Chili Cook-Off,” said Fenrich. “We want to have this year’s winner bring the World Championship title to Owasso.” Everyone can purchase a tasting kit to benefit OCR. The tasting kits have a small bowl, a spoon, a napkin and ballots for voting for best chili and best salsa.
Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded in a number of categories including People’s Choice, Best Youth Chili, Best Community Service Chili and more as well as for the International Chili Society categories. Admission and parking are free. Shuttle trams will be available as well as handicap access. “Our favorite Oklahoma son, Will Rogers, once said ‘Any man you likes chili can’t be all bad’, and I say anyone who comes out to support the Owasso Community Resources and this wonderful place to live must be good at heart,” said ChiliJohn.
For more information on the 2015 Owasso Community Resources Chili Cook-Off contact Randy Cowling at 918-272-4969 or ChiliJohn at 918-609-6211 or go to www.owassochilifestival.com.
Owasso Harvest Festival Chili Cook-Off Chairman, ChiliJohn Fenrich, with his two grandsons, Jake, 7 and Alex, 12, promoted the 2013 Cook-Off at the Owasso Veterans Day Parade held Saturday, Nov. 10th. Young Jake is wearing his great grandfather’s uniform cap. His veteran great grandfather was in the legendary 8th Air Force in England during WWII.
OKLAHOMA CHAMPION - Chili cook-off chairman ChiliJohn Fenrich awards longtime International Chili Society cook Clif Dugan, from Denison, TX, his 1st place plaque for winning the ICS red chili competition. Dugan will represent Oklahoma at the 2013 ICS World Championship Chili
Cook-Off in Palm Springs, CA.