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West Sacramento Chili Cook-off c/o Our Lady of Grace School 1990 Linden Road West Sacramento, CA 95691

Our 2017 Cheftestant line-up is full! Thank you for your interest. If you'd like to be added to the 2018 River City Chili Cook-Off, which will be held in November of 2018, please fill out the interest form below. 

The Chili Cook-off is the place to showcase your skills. We want to show the region, the state and the country the top notch dining experience Sacramento has to offer while supporting a great cause.

All proceeds from this fun-filled 4-hour cook-off event (think live music, local breweries, local wineries, great food) will be donated to the Our Lady of Grace School (a 501c3 charity).  If your restaurant uses fresh, local ingredients and you’re interested in competing in Sacramento’s premier chili cook-off event, please fill out the application below.

Some quick points:

  • 🌶 The event will be held on a Saturday evening in November of 2018.
  • 🌶 We’re expecting an attendance of 500+ chili loving, hungry people to attend this event. Each attendee will be served as many 3-ounce servings of chili they can eat. Be prepared. 
  • 🌶 We suggest bringing at least 8 gallons of chili, maybe more... 
  • 🌶 You’ll be serving up chili samples to all attendees (3-ounce serving can include toppings)
  • 🌶 You will be cooking up great chili in an off the hook location!
  • 🌶 We will have an official panel judging the cook-off as well as a People’s Choice 🏆 winner decided by event attendees.
  • 🌶 There is no fee for restaurants to compete in the Chili Cook-off. We provide the crowd, signage, fun times (and libations) you provide the donation of the food to be cooked :)
  • 🌶 While we’d love to have every awesome restaurant in the Sacramento compete, we have limited spots available for the competition. This form is to help us gauge interest in who wants to be a part of this event.
  • 🌶 We’ll be accepting the first 15 of the Sacramento area's restaurants that sign up to participate. 

Chili competitors are limited to restaurants, caterers, food truck operators and professional chefs. We do have a Cornbread Challenge for home chefs. Due to limited space, not all applicants will be selected to compete. Competitors will be notified at least 3 weeks before the event. 

Any questions, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you! After you fill out the form, we will confirm receipt of the application. More event details and updates will be provided as the event date nears.


Thank you for your interest in being a competitor in the 2018 River City Chili Cook-off. Due to limited space, the competition is open to restaurants, caterers, and professional chefs/competitors. We have a cornbread competition for home cooks. This form is broken into 3 sections. Please fill out the form completely. If you have any questions, please contact Michael or Angela.

Due to limited space, we will accept applications from all interested, and contact all those accepted to participate in the Chili Cook-off at least 3 weeks before the event.

Please fill out the following contact information. 


Please continue to page 2 to provide information about your chili.


Please continue to page 3 for the rules and regulations. 

  1. The cook-off site will open at 4 p.m. for registration and set up. A mandatory team meeting with cook-off officials will be at 4:30 p.m. to review rules. The public begins to arrive at 5:00 p.m. and serving begins at 6 p.m. Teams will begin serving chili to judges at 5:15 p.m., so don’t be late. 
  2. Teams will be assigned a 6’ rectangular table with electrical hookups preparation area. 
  3. Each team is responsible for all ingredients, utensils and accessories necessary to cook and warm chili. This includes water, cook stove, chafing dish or Crockpot. Event will be held indoors so no outdoor cooking equipment will be permitted. Each team must supply all cooking equipment. (Limited electrical outlets are available).
  4. Chili powder and other spices are fine and dandy, but complete commercial chili mixes are not permitted. Thickeners such as corn meal, masa or flour are allowed – so are canned tomatoes, chipoltes and beans. Hate to be this obvious, but no canned chili is allowed ... just sayin’.
  5. Chili should arrive at the event at a temperature of no higher than 41 degrees and shall be heated and maintained at a temperature no less than 140 degrees. Please keep chili tightly covered when not serving.
  6. All ingredients must come from approved food sources, so it’s absolutely safe for public consumption (No roadkill). 
  7. Teams are responsible for their area and chili.
  8. All cooking must be done in a sanitary manner. Conditions are subject to inspection by the chief judge. Failure to comply is subject to disqualification of the team. 
  9. Chili must be ready to serve before arrival. Minor finishing is permissible on site prior to the event. 
  10. At no time should you leave cooked chili unattended (for safety and integrity reasons).
  11. Teams are encouraged, urged and otherwise motivated to decorate their area, including advertising signage, as long as it does not obstruct the view of adjacent tables.   
  12. Each contestant will be assigned a contestant number by the chief scorekeeper and given a styrofoam cup with lid for their chili. An official of the cook-off will deliver the chili entries to the judges for a blind taste test.
  13. Judges will announce the 5th Annual Chili Cook-off winner around 9 p.m. The winning team will be presented with bragging-rights and trophy. The decision of the judges is final.
  14. Each team will donate its chili to the 5th Annual Chili Cook-off for consumption. Each team is expected to dispense their chili to attendees at 6 p.m. Bowls and spoons will be provided by 5th Annual Chili Cook-off.
  15. Attendees will select the People’s Choice Award. Attendees will each be given ticket to give to their favorite chili and/or team. The team with the most tickets wins. It’s up to you to entice them to try your chili and cast their vote for you. The more chili you have, the more votes you can get – but a minimum of 6.5 gallons is required. People’s Choice Award winner will also receive a nice trophy.

Our Sponsors

Title Sponsor
Title Sponsor Yelp Sacramento
The 2017 River City Chili Cook-Off is presented by Yelp Sacramento!
Chili Tasting Sponsor
Chili Tasting Sponsor XL Construction
The Chili Tasting area is proudly presented by XL Construction.
Bar Sponsor
Bar Sponsor Laborers Local 185
Enjoy cocktails featuring Tito's Handmade Vodka and Preservation & Co. premium mixers at the L185 bar.
Spirit Donated by
Spirit Donated by Tito's Handmade Vodka
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas’ oldest legal distillery. We make it in batches, use old-fashioned pot stills, and taste-test every batch.
All Sponsors
All Sponsors 2017 Sponsors
The River City Chili Cook-off wouldn't be a success if not for our gracious sponsors.