2nd Annual NWI & I-65 Interstate Chili Cook-Off

Information & Registration

We can’t wait to taste your chili! May the best chili win!

Chili Cook-Off Countdown








First Annual Northwest Indiana & I-65 Interstate Chili Cook Off

SATURDAY, may 4 & SUNDAY, may 5, 2024

2193 W. 84th Place, Merrillville, IN 46410

Man's Man Chili™
ICS World Champion Chili Cook-Offs

Chili samples / 12-3pm / $5 at door

live music!

Jerry Clemons

SATURDAY, 12 – 3PM / Jerry Clemons

A very popular and talented Country, Rock & Blues musician who has shared the stage with Carl Weathersby, Ronny Baker Brooks, Travis Tritt, Lonestar, and KoKo Taylor.

Rocco Calipari

SUNDAY, 12 – 3PM / Rocco Calipari

Accomplished Chicago contemporary Blues & Rock artist who has recorded with Buddy Guy, and played with Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry and Carl Weathersby.

St. Joesph's Carmelite Home

A 2-Day cook-off benefiting the charities of the St. Jude House in Crown Point, Indiana.  Providing support since 1995, the St. Jude House provides residential and non-residential services to survivors – adults and children – of domestic violence.                                       


Awesome prizes!

Chef’s Knife Dalstrong Valhalla Series,Nakiri 7” knife


ICS Veggie Chili

Chef’s Knife
Valhalla Series,
Nakiri 7” knife

Custom Montana Silversmiths Belt Buckle*


ICS Homestyle
ICS Verde

Custom Montana Silversmiths Belt Buckle*
*design may vary based upon availability

Prize for “Peoples Choice” and “Furthest Traveled”

  • One (1) 8’ table and 2 chairs will be provided – cooks will share a table in an approx 10‘ x 10’ cook area (based on number of attendees).
  • Cooks must bring their own supplies.
  • No electric at booths.
  • Free parking available for RV’s next to pavilion area – no electric/water hookup (phone Man’s Man Chili @ 888-MMCHILI for reservations/questions)
  • Friday evening set up open between 5:30pm – 7:30pm.
  • Only mini (16 oz) “table-top” propane tanks allowed. 1-5 lb propane cylinders are not allowed indoors. Chief Judge has final say/determination.
  • Discounted hotel lodging TBD,

NWI Chili Cook Off
Saturday Schedule

7:00AM Doors Open
8:00AM Cook’s Meeting
9:00AM ICS Homestyle Fires
10:00AM ICS Veggie Fires
11:00AM ICS Verde Fires
12:00PM ICS Homestyle Turn-in
12:00PM ICS Red Fires

ICS Veggie Turn-In

CASI Showmanship Begins

2:00PM ICS Verde Turn-in
3:00PM CASI Turn-in/Judging
ICS Red Turn-in
4:30PM Awards


I-65 Interstate Chili Cook Off Sunday Schedule

7:00AM Doors Open
7:30AM Cook’s Meeting
8:00AM ICS Homestyle Fires
9:00AM Veggie Fires
10:00AM ICS Verde Fires
11:00AM ICS Homestyle Turn-in
ICS Red Fires

ICS Veggie Turn-In

CASI Showmanship Begins

1:00PM ICS Verde Turn-in
2:00PM CASI Turn-in/Judging
ICS Red Turn-in
3:30PM Awards


YOU MUST BE AN ICS MEMBER TO COMPETE IN ICS CATEGORIES. All ICS Cooks must register via the ICS website.

Entry fees are separate per category (see below) and per day. Cooks can pay/register the day of each cook-off or can register early by filling out the registration form below. You can pay the NWI & I-65 Interstate Chili Cook Off registration fee by:
Sending a check to:

P.O. Box 413
Crown Point, IN 46308
Please make checks
payable to: Man’s Man Chili




NWI CHILI COOK-OFF: Saturday, May 4th

I-65 INTERSTATE COOK-OFF: Sunday, May 5th

14 + 15 =

PLEASE NOTE: You need to pay the registration fee after you fill out the registration form. You are NOT registered until you complete this form AND pay the registration fee. You must also register with the ICS website before competing.

Any questions regarding registration or to join our email list for updates on the cook-off, please email info@mansmanchili.com.


Man's Man Chili™
Indiana South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority - Proud Sponsor of the NWI & I-65 Interstate Chili Cook-off
Fahrenheit 212 Restaurant & Bar
Mikes Main Event
Lake County Indiana Sheriff Oscar Martinez
Mike Repay | Commissioner
Grimmer Construction Inc.
NIPSCO | A NiSource Company


  1. CHILI COOKED ON SITE -All chili must be cooked from scratch on site the day of the cook-off. All chili must be prepared in the open, inside the venue. (No cooking in motor homes, etc.)
  2. CHILI COOKED FROM SCRATCH – “Scratch” is defined as starting with raw meat. No marinating is allowed. Commercial chili powder is permissible, no complete commercial chili mixes (”…Just add meat…”) are not permitted.
  3. NO FILLERS IN CHILI – Beans, macaroni, hominy, rice or other similar ingredients are not permitted.
  4. SANITATION – Cooks are to prepare and cook chili in as sanitary manner as possible.
  5. INSPECTION OF COOKING CONDITIONS – Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by the head judge or his/her designee and CASI Referee. Failure to comply is subject to disqualification.
  6. COOKS MAY HAVE TO TASTE THEIR CHILI – At the discretion of the head judge and CASI Referee, chili cooks may be required to remove lids from their chili cups and taste their chili before turning in for judging. (If a contestant refuses, his or her chili will be disqualified.)
  7. ONE CHILI PER COOK – Each head cook is responsible for preparing one pot of chili that he or she intends to be judged and turning in one judging cup from that pot. No more than one judging sample can be taken from any one pot.
  8. COOKS MUST SIGN NUMBER SLIPS – Chili cooks must legibly sign their secrete number slips in ink with their first and last names at the time cups are issued. Winners will not be eligible if their secret number is unsigned when presented. NOTE: Cooks must present their signed secret numbers to claim their prize.
  9. PROTECT THE JUDGING CUP – Once judging cups have been issued, each head cook is responsible for his/her judging cup. Cooks must not remove or tamper with he numbers on outside of the cups. Any marked or altered cup must be replaced prior to TURN-IN or it will be disqualified.
  10. FILLING CUPS – Cups will be filled 3/4” from the top of the cup.
  11. CHILI TURN-IN – Chili will be turned in at the place and time designated at the cooks’ meeting or at otherwise designated by the head judges.
  12. PYROTECHNICS – No chili contestant may discharge fire arms or use pyrotechnics or explosives at a chili cook-off. Contestants discharging firearms and/or using explosives or other pyrotechnics will be disqualified from the chili cook-off.
  13. PENALTIES – Failure to comply with CASI rules will result in disqualification of an individual cook for the cook-off. Decision of the officials(s) are final. In case of disqualification, the CASI official monitoring the cook-off will immediately notify the head cook and give a reason for disqualification. In the event disqualification of a cup of chili occurs after judging has started, it is not necessary that the cook be located or given an explanation for disqualification.
  14. PUBLIC TASTING – One gallon of chili is required.


  1. Cooks must be active ICS members and at least 18 years old. Cooks must register for their ICS membership and sign-in for every cook-off through the ICS website, chilicookoff.com
  2. Tradition Red Chili: Is any kind of meat, or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. Beans and non-vegatable fillers such as rice and pasta and not allowed. Preference is not given to either cut meat, ground meat, shredded meat or cubed meat.
  3. Homestyle Chili: Is any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. Homestyle chili may be any color. Beans are required. Preference is not given to either cut meant, ground meat, shredded meat or cubed meat. Seafood is allowed.
  4. Chili Verde is any kind of meat, or combination of meats, cooked with green chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. Non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed. Preference is not given to either cut meat, ground meat, shredded meat or cubed meat.
  5. Veggie Chlii is any kind of vegetable, or combination of vegetables, cooked with chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. The use of soy and meatless “meat” substitutes is allowed. Veggie Chili can be any color.
  6. No ingredient may be pre-cooked in any way prior to the commencement of the official cooking time. The only exceptions are canned vegetables, sauces, peppers, liquids, seasoning pastes and meat substitutes.
  7. Meat may be pre-cut or ground but MAY NOT be pre-cooked, treated, seasoned or marinated in any manner.
  8. Grinding and/or mixing of spices is allowed.
  9. All other ingredients must be prepared and/or chopped on-site during the preparation period. The preparation period is the designated time between set-up and the start of the cooking period for each category. Preparation times may vary by cook-off, as determined by the Chief Judge.
  10. All ingredients must be sourced to a licensed food manufacturer, wholesale supplier or retail store. Purchase receipts are recommended and may be required at some cook-offs. No ingredients are allowed that have originated from unlicensed growers or supplies. No home grown or home canned/bottle ingredients are allowed.
  11. No wild game meat is permitted, even if processed by a licensed facility. All ingredients are subject to inspection at any time, by ICS representatives or local and state officials.
  12. All food – whether stored, resting or cooking – must always be maintained at food-safe temperatures. Food temperatures are subject to inspection at any time by ICS representatives or local/state officials.
  13. All food handling, preparation and sering must comply with all local and state guidelines, policies and rules.
  14. Failure to abide by any of the above, in the unilateral and unfettered opinion of the Chief Judge, will result in immediate disqualification from the cook-off.
  15. Cooking during the entire cooking period is at the sole direction of the contestant.
  16. For each category a contestant competes in, they must cook a minimum of 32 oz. to be submitted for judging.
  17. For each category a contestant competes in, they must cook 32 oz. to be submitted for judging.
  18. Contestants must cook and turn in their entries. The Chief Judge has the right to disqualify any cook or team of cooks found turning in entry(s) not prepared by them.