by Nicki Wood
Bites frequenters Erin of Erins Food Files and Vivek Surti of Vivek's Epicurean Adventures are both entering as competitors. (Erin's got a secret ingredient.) Vegetarian restaurant The Wild Cow is a competitor, too.
Judging is by popular vote — your paid entry fee buys you five voting chits. Spread your votes around or be strategic and just chuck them into your buddy's tin.
Vietti Chili, our homegrown, longtime local chili, is a sponsor — nice to see them in that role. Ole Smoky Tennessee Whiskey, the first legal moonshine distiller int he state, is also sponsoring. They'll be serving shots of their Apple Pie moonshine in the beer garden, with Yazoo providing the beer.
Brother Z's Wangs will be serving wings and hot dogs, and Maggie Moo's mobile slab will sell ice cream. And for something completely different, The Breakfast Truck will be peddling its fare.
There's lots of music, a bouncy house, and $200 for the top pot, $100 for the second prize and $50 for third.
The entrance fee is a suggested $5 minimum donation, $15 for beer garden. Proceeds benefit Community Shares, which supports these charities working for environment, education, literacy, animal welfare, social justice and more across Tennessee, and Tennessee Literacy Coalition. The cook-off begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m.
So far, 24 competitors are signed up — a 63 percent jump from last year, according to Courtney Clifford of Community Shares. She says the group hopes to be an International Chili Society sanctioned event next year.