IF YOU GO
What: Chattanooga Chili Cook-off at Chattanooga Market.
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Where: First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Reggie White Blvd.
Admission: Free; chili samples $1 (cup) and $4 (bowl).
The 10th annual Chattanooga Chili Cook-off at Chattanooga Market will be a break from tradition.
This year's competition will feature an open category for amateur cooks as well as a professional cook-off sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Society International. Chilies in the CASI-sanctioned contest will contain no beans or fillers.
"We will have about nine competitors of chili enthusiasts from across the region vying for Chattanooga Chili Champion," said general manager Paul Smith.
These include returning champion Link 41, a Main Street pork producer, whose Chili Verde won both judged categories last year -- Most Creative and Best Overall, he said.
Patrons can buy samples at $1 per cup or $4 per bowl.
"Last year, the variety was astonishing," he said. "Everybody has a different take on what makes good chil."
The chili competitors will be outside on the plaza, and food trucks with other concessions will be stationed around the EPB Stage.
According to ChattanoogaChiliCookoff.com, the CASI sanctions more than 500 cook-offs and raises more than $1 million for charity. By placing in this event, cooks earn points to help make them eligible for the Terlingua (Texas) International Chili Championship.
Judging for the CASI contest is based on aroma, consistency, red color, taste and aftertaste, according to the website. Awards also will be given for Best Traditional and Most Creative chilis.
The open category will reward cooks for Most Popular, Most Unique and Judges' Favorite.
Smith said vendors will have an array of fall produce. Apples have been a crowd favorite in recent weeks.
"The apple harvest," he said, "has been the best in years."
• 11 a.m. Showmanship competition begins
• 1:30 p.m. Judging begins
• 3:30 p.m. Awards ceremony
ON THE EPB STAGE
• Noon. Dustin Overbeck
• 1:30 p.m. Sabrina
• 3 p.m. Tin Cup Gypsy
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...