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Chilly Willie Chili Challenge Chili Cookoff

Rona Regan

Chilly Willie Chili Challenge Chili Cookoff

Orland Park Civic Center in Orland Park, IL

Say it with me, “Chilly Willie Chili Challenge Chili Cookoff”, that was a tongue twister. Whatever you have going on tomorrow afternoon, just cancel it, even better call your friends and family and let them know there will be a change of plans. Once again, Orland Park is hosting the Chilly Willie Chili Challenge Chili Cookoff at the Orland Park Civic Center. I was one of the lucky judges for last year’s cookoff. This year, I get to do it again.

I love to eat good food! I’m sure everyone understands that being able to taste and judge delicious, flavorful chili should be on everyone’s “Must Do List”. I learned a few things about chili while judging last year’s contest, I’m a great cook, but can’t make Award Winning Chili so I will stick to judging chili instead.

The Village of Orland Park does a beautiful job every year hosting the Chilly Willie Chili Challenge Chili Cookoff. They attract thousands of people, from all around. The set up and music make the event even better. Families come ready to judge the best chili around, some even bring their own wooden chili tasting spoons. Others, come to witness the fun event.

What Goes on Behind Closed Doors:

The judges are secretly lined up and taken in a private room. Every judge is anxious for the chili to be presented. The chili is displayed on a table with only numbers beside them. You are handed a sheet of paper with numbers, without names. As your heart is racing you are told the rules and judging etiquette. You walk down the table and taste chili by chili. The flavor and the aroma goes straight to your head and you feel as if someone’s life is riding on your shoulders. “I love them”, “Maybe I should taste them all several times”, “Am I allowed to speak to the other judges?”, “Why do I have to only pick one?”. Thoughts go through your head, you’re not sure if it’s because you’re judging chili or because the chili taste so good. You start to ponder life’s questions, then you snap back to reality and realize that everyone staring at you. “Yes, I’m taking Chili Judging serious”! You pick your winners and leave the room feeling confident with your choice.

If you love chili or just want to enjoy a fun event in our area, you should stop by tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, January 28th 2017 at 2 pm. Orland Park Civic Center, 14750 Ravinia Ave Orland Park, I