Chili and cool weather: match made

A cool breeze is blowin’ through Austin so break out the chili pans or plan to sample cook-off tastings. The Cookery welcomes guest blogger Jane Manaster, Austin writer and geographer, with a heads-up on chili season. Thanks, Jane!

 Take some heat from Jane:

Now that we can look forward to manageable weather, our culinary thoughts turn from salads to more substantial homemade treats.


On November 15, the 21st Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-off will be held in Austin at the historic Farmers’ Market on Burnet Road. ‘Vegetarian chili?’ you ask, ‘Isn’t that an oxymoron?’ No, it’s not, and the proof is in the tasting. Even without beef and alternative meat ingredients chili can be a blast – almost literally sometimes!  Check for details.


Chili cook-offs are a companionable way to get together, sampling a mouthful of one recipe after another, discussing their merits and choosing a winner from the many contestants.  Nearby garbage cans allow you to dispose of the ones which you, like Goldilocks, find too hot, too cold or …well, not winners. 


Cook-offs are staged to raise money for local or national charities, and to provide good music and wacky entertainment.  The Chili Appreciation Society International ( ) sanctions over 550 cook-offs annually that raise over $1,000,000.00 for charity.  The Terlingua International Chili Championship takes place November 5-7 in Terlingua, down near Big Bend.


If you have dietary restrictions, you might try the Kosher Chili Cook-off in Dallas next spring, yet another twist to a Texas tradition.


Try The Cookery’s own chili recipe.




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