My Citizens – today is truly a red-letter day here at TFD Nation – for today is National Chili Day, and you may not be aware that your well-spiced and forever bean-free Leader is a champion chili maker who has actually made it to the International Chili Society’s World Championship in 2013!
I hold the unique honor of being the only person to ever win a regional chili cookoff ON THE FIRST ATTEMPT – it normally takes at least a decade to win at one of these, and my green chili took the regional California gold and let me enter the 2013 ICS World Chili Cookoff! Sadly, due to a stupid rookie mistake (I let my butcher pre-cut the meat for me, and he did a terrible job) I placed 33rd out of 175 – but the judges told me afterwards that if my pork had been properly cut, I’d have made the top 20! 😀
Since then, I’ve retired on my laurels, and my own green and red chili recipes are strictly top-secret, but I did want to share with you the world’s best chili – at least according to the judges at ICS! It won not once – but TWICE, in back-to-back years of 2012 and 2013 – a feat that has never been equalled! As noted on the ICS website:
Bob Plager won the top title and $25,000 for the second year in a row! He is the only back-to-back World Champion in ICS history. He shared with us a few key ingredients that make his chili a winner, including the use of special water from Farmers Branch, Texas and also two Sunsweet pitted prunes, which he claims gives the chili a little sweetness and the gravy a beautiful gloss.
Bob began cooking competitively in Texas in 1980 and has since become a three-time International Champion in Red Chili! He won in 1996, 1998, and 2006 at the Original Tolbert Terlingua International Championship, and now two ICS World Champion wins! Bob and his wife, Kathy (the 1998 WCCC Champion), compete against each other at chili cook-offs year after year while always promoting the ICS. Bob is truly known as the ICS social butterfly!
There are actually two chili societies that offer worldwide cookoffs every year – the ICS and CASI – if you’ve never tried a cookoff before, I encourage you to do so – they’re a lot of fun, the people are nice and the judging is fascinating. Just don’t expect to win for a while. 😉 My personal checklist will help you to be organized and ready for the big cookoff event – details are here.
For your reference, here is how the ICS defines ‘competition chili’:
Official Rules and Regulations for Cooks at the World’s Championship, State, Regional and District Chili Cookoffs
The following rules are to be adhered to by all cookoff chairmen, cooks, and/or assistants, at all chili cookoffs approved by the International Chili Society.
True chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat, or combination of meats, cooked with chili peppers, various other spices, and other ingredients with the exception of items such as beans or spaghetti which are strictly forbidden.
No ingredient may be pre-cooked or treated in any way prior to the preparation period which will begin approximately one hour prior to the commencement of the official cookoff. The only exceptions are canned or bottled tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, pepper sauce, beverages, broth and grinding and/or mixing of spices. Meat may be pre-cut or ground but not treated in any way. All other ingredients must be chopped or prepared during the preparation period.
The cooking period will be a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 4 hours, the exact starting and ending of the cooking period is to be announced by each local sponsoring organization. Cooking during the entire cooking period is at the sole discretion of the contestant.
So, without further ado – please enjoy what is considered the world’s ultimate award-winning chili recipe and enjoy a cold one in honor of TFD!
Battle on – the Generalissimo
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