event Meadowlands Homestyle Chili & Salsa Cook-Off 1/27/2018

sounds like fun!  Best of luck and please take/post pics of the event!  We luv pics~ 
Ok.  Event has passed.  It was a great time.  There was supposed to be about 35 competitors but there were less than 30 that actually showed up.  I meet at least 5 different competitors that were all there for the first time at a chili cookoff.  Everyone was nice.  I don't know if I could ever judge an event like this because I liked everyone's chili.  But, after tasting many chili's, I did feel that I like mine the best.  My chili was spicier than the others, but nothing too insane and over the top.  We had great feedback during the People's Choice hour, got many compliments on the chili and the salsa.  Everyone loved the salsa (except for maybe the judges).  It is probably too sweet to win an event but it is yummy.  Overall, I got one second place vote for the salsa and one third place vote for the chili, but alas, not enough at the end of the day.  Just so happens that the World Champion Homestyle Chili maker is from the area and he showed up supporting his daughter's efforts.  They were super nice folks and gave plenty of tips.  He says the judges are fans of cumin and salt.  I can certainly up the cumin for next time.  I have plenty of time to test at home before there is another homestyle event.  I would certainly do this again, mostly because I had a great time hanging out with my wife cooking chili all day and talking to all the interesting folks that were there.
So, here are some pics:
First pic of the cooking area overall looking out from our table.  Not a large area, but not a large competition.

Here is a pic of my wife in our tiny cooking area.  We had gotten there early and got a great cooking area.  Unfortunately, when time started, the circuit we were on overloaded so they had to move us to the corner.  Hurt us for the People's Choice, but that is ok.

A pic of me being a goofball in front of our chili.  Note, this is a homestyle event so beans and stuff like that are allowed.

A pic of the World Champion and his daughter.  Great folks.

My wife took this pic of the chili and the assorted Pampered Chef products we used:

A Salsa pic:
sounds like a lot of fun, thanks for the pics.  And I think your salsa looks scrumptious! 
salsalady said:
sounds like a lot of fun, thanks for the pics.  And I think your salsa looks scrumptious! 

Thanks so much,  I couldn't have made that salsa without yours and THPs suggestions.  Everyone loved it.  Many said it was delicious.  Thanks again!
Awesome! Homestyle is a tough win because there are not strict standards like with the traditional red division so every chili is very different. Did they do the verde one there? Maybe try that next year!
A few of the competitors did Chicken Chili or Turkey Chili that was green based but it was all considered Homestyle.  I can see trying to make one of them next time.  Definitely want to do it again because I had such a great time.
Oh I guess they didn't do verde. They do traditional red, verde, homestyle, and salsa but depends on event.