Alexandria, VA

How do you like your chili? On Saturday, the seventh annual Del Ray Chili Cook-off will be a heated contest.

The Del Ray Citizen’s Association is hosting the contest, which will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at Commonwealth Academy (1321 Leslie Ave.). Tickets are $10 and free for DRCA members.

The event raises funds for Friends of Guest House, a home for previously incarcerated women in Alexandria.

The rules are strict:

  • Only Del Ray residents can compete in the event
  • Teams can only have up to three people on them
  • Contestants must bring their own ingredients and equipment, including utensils and fuel
  • Each participant must cook a minimum of six quarts of chili, prepared in one batch prior to the event

There are two categories for contestants — meat and non-meat entries. DRCA will provide spoons and cups for serving to the attendees and judges.

The three judges will be looking at “taste, aroma, texture and after-taste. Your chili can certainly be spicy, but it isn’t a requirement,” according to DRCA rules.

Prizes totaling $450 ($150 apiece) will be presented to 1st place vegetarian, 1st place meat and 1st place people’s choice. Professional chefs are ineligible from winning the main awards, but can win the people’s choice.

Last year’s winners were Christi Hart and Daniela Spigai, who tied for the meat competition; Sue Kovalsky for the best veggie chili and Kristine Hesse, who won the people’s choice.

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