Prepare the Way for the 7th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

On Saturday, February 10, 2018, Downtown Laurel will come alive as the thrill of intense competition fuels the teams lining historic Central Avenue for the 7th annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off.  Join us for one of Laurel Main Street’s most popular events and expose your business (and your top secret chili recipe) to over 3,000 hungry customers!

Come early to watch the teams set up and prepare their recipes from scratch.  No pre-chopping or pre-cooking allowed!  Each team prepares and cooks their secret chili recipe right out in the open for all to watch. Judging begins at eleven, when our expert panel tastes each entry and decides who wins the $1,000 grand prize in each category.

For just $10, you can enjoy an “all-you-can-eat” bowl or for $25, enjoy a “bottomless” Carl Buchanan keepsake pottery bowl. Tasting begins at 11:30a.m. and the winners are announced at 12:30p.m. Each year, at the end of the event, we raffle a 10 gallon cast iron Bayou Classic Jambalaya pot and tripod stand — a $325 value! Tickets for the raffle are $10 for 1 or $20 for 3 and can be purchased from any LMS member or at the event.

Compete for a $1,000 GRAND PRIZE

Is your signature chili the talk of the town? Does your organization, business or group have a team ready to face the competition during the 2018 Chili Cook Off? Here’s your chance to show off your favorite recipe and compete for our fabulous prizes, all while contributing to the continued growth and revitalization of our beautiful Downtown!

Prizes generously provided by Magnolia State Bank

1st place Traditional: $1000 & the traveling chili trophy

1st place Homestyle:  $1000 & the traveling chili pot trophy

People’s Choice: $200 & Hand-crafted pottery by Carl Buchanan

Spirit Tent Award: $200 & Hand-crafted pottery by Carl Buchanan

Assemble your team of 5 or less members, gather your ingredients (all chili must be cooked on site) and prepare to face the judges!

Forms & Information

Download the forms below and return them to Laurel Main Street at 409 Oak Street (on the 2nd floor of Lee’s Coffee and Tea) by February 5, 2018 and get ready to delight the crowds and defeat the competition on February 10th!

Judging

In order to ensure fairness, teams will be scored in five categories based on their anonymous submission for tasting. Judges will evaluate entries based on color, aroma, consistency, taste and aftertaste (or bite).

Grand prize winners will be chosen for two categories–Traditional and Homestyle–and will receive $1000 and a traveling trophy. May the best chili win!

Want to compete in this year’s cook off? Click HERE to download registration forms.

Sponsorship Opportunities

This ever-growing event is THE place to be this February and the SPONSORSHIP DEADLINE is January 27, 2018.

The benefits of sponsoring a fun, family-friendly event such as this are sure to reach far beyond the day itself. Enjoy positive exposure while providing local consumers with an experience they’re sure to remember – right here in Downtown Laurel!

Thank you to Magnolia State Bank for their 6th consecutive 5-Alarm Sponsorship! Their generous support is vital to the success of this popular event as they directly provide the funds for our phenomenal prizes and event marketing. Available sponsorship levels include:

$2,500 Blazing Sponsor

  • Business feature LMS event page/Facebook/newsletter
  • Free cook off team entry
  • Choice of space at event 
  • Logo on event poster 
  • Eight entry tickets for your guests 
  • Eight VIP Breakfast tickets

Become A Blazing Sponsor

$1000 Hot Sponsor

  • Business feature LMS event page/Facebook/newsletter
  • Free cook off team entry
  • Choice of space at event
  • Name on event poster
  • Six entry tickets for your guests
  • Six VIP Breakfast tickets

Become A Hot Sponsor

$500 Spicy Sponsor

  • Business name listed LMS event page/Facebook/newsletter
  • Name on event poster
  • Four entry tickets for your guests
  • Four VIP Breakfast tickets

Become A Spicy Sponsor

Events like the Chili Cook Off just wouldn’t be possible without the support and backing of local businesses. These sponsorships help pay for the prizes, supplies and more! Their donations also help fund the Laurel Main Street Facade & Amenities grant and are directly responsible for the improvements you see in Downtown Laurel.

Please remit sponsorship payment to: Laurel Main Street, PO Box 1256, Laurel, MS 39441
Memo: Chili Cook Off 2018 Sponsorship
DEADLINE: January 27, 2018

Questions?  Contact the Chili Cook Off Chair, Robby Scruggs 601.319.0098 or Laurel Main Street, 601.433.3255.

Be a part of something bigger

Did you know that $1 spent at a local restaurant can result in 88 cents returning to the local economy? That’s nearly double the amount of retail stores and other local businesses, and over 4 times the return from big box stores and national chains. Local restaurants help fuel the economy like no other business, and events like the Chili Cook Off go a long way toward attracting our best chefs and entrepreneurs to the downtown area.

In addition to sparking the imaginations of local entrepreneurs, the Chili Cook Off also serves to directly impact the downtown area by helping to fund the LMS Facade & Amenities grant. This grant helps downtown business owners improve the exterior facade of their buildings, provides amenities like park benches and trash receptacles, and helps to build the economic strength of our beautiful downtown.

Join us February 10, 2018 in Downtown Laurel for the 7th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

The 6th Annual Chili Cook Off is THIS Saturday!

With the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off this Saturday, we want to take a moment to thank our sponsors who are helping make this event the best yet! We could not do what we do without the generosity of our local businesses!

Please visit our sponsors on Facebook to thank them for contributing to the revitalization of our beautiful Downtown Laurel!

Click each sponsor’s logo to leave them a thank you message!

5 Alarm Sponsors

Magnolia State Bank

Our 5 Alarm signature sponsors  are The City of LaurelJones County EDA, and Magnolia State Bank!

You may have noticed that Magnolia State Bank has a new building located in the heart of down town. Be on the look out for the announcement of their grand opening soon!

Hot Sponsors

Central Sunbelt FCU

Spicy Sponsors

Community Bank

Southern Beverage Company

Mississippi Power Company

Michael J. Axton

Mandy and Carl Buchanan

Robby and Angie Scruggs

Meet a few of our Judges:

Travares Comegys is a 1999 Graduate of RH Watkins High School. He received an Associate’s Degree from Jones County Junior College and a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Southern Mississippi. Travares currently serves as City Councilman Ward 6 in Laurel and Co-owner of JC Beauty Supply on Central Ave. He is a member of St. Elmo Missionary Baptist Church where he is an active member of the Men Matter group. Travares is the proud father of Ms. Kynnedi Comegys.

Justin Round is a Laurel native and proud alumni of RH Watkins High School (go Naders!), Ole Miss, and Johnson and Wales University…a veteran American gypsy, and rogue culinary professional at Backroad Bistro.

schedule of events:

8:00am Team Check In

10:00am Event begins

11:00pm Chili due for judging

11:30pm Tasting begins, serve public

12:30pm Winners announced, drawing for giveaway item

1:30pm Event ends

We can’t wait to see you there!

It’s not too late for your cook off team!

With only three weeks until the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off, there’s still time for you to gather your team and get signed up. And with two $1,000 first prizes to give away, the competition will be tight!

This year is sure to be great with endless chili, music, friends and neighbors, and lots of children’s activities! There will be fun for the whole family!

Meet a few of our Judges.

Malcolm White has returned to lead the Mississippi Arts Commission(MAC) as Executive Director. He previously held the position from 2005 –2012, after which he became director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division. While there, White developed and implemented plans to create economic growth and opportunities through tourism, the creative economy and promoted the state as a travel destination and film location. Prior to his tenure at MAC, he worked in the hospitality industry, running a popular restaurant and founding special events and festivals throughout the state.
A native of Stone County, Mississippi, White holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of Southern Mississippi. Throughout his career, he has been a member of and served on the committees of numerous civic organizations. White is involved with South Arts, the Mississippi Blues and Country Music Trails, Downtown Jackson Partners and he is past chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission. In 2015, he published Little Stories: A Collection of Mississippi Photos, a book of images he created from visits covering the state over several years.

Elizabeth (Biz) Harris is a Laurel, Mississippi native who’s lived in towns from Virginia to Texas. As a homecook, she writes about full bellies, warm welcomes, southern recipes, and radical hospitality at her blog, Mess of Greens. In addition to being the monthly food columnist for DIME Entertainment Magazine, her recipes have been featured in various Mississippi and regional publications. She recently co-wrote & published an e-cookbook around foraged mushrooms, and is an avid vegetable gardener. As her day job, she’s the Director of Communications & Engagement for the Tallahatchie River Foundation.

Grab a few friends and create a team!

Read all about how you can create a team and be a part here! Even if you’re not able to compete, come out and vote for your favorite chili with the People’s Choice Award!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our winners made chili great again!

With 25 enthusiastic teams competing and over 1,000 chili-loving attendees coming out to taste their wares, the 5th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off was our best cook off event yet!

The winner of the Traditional Category grand prize was Chili 2016. Their goal was to “Make Chili Great Again,” and they now have the traveling chili trophy for a whole year.

Our Homestyle Category winner was Southgroup Insurance who stood a head above the competition and came out on top.

Thank you to all who came out to support our teams, sponsors and the downtown revitalization projects of Laurel Main Street!

Congratulations to the winners of the 5th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

Chili 2016 (Brian Ginn State Farm) wins the 2016 Grand Prize in the Traditional Category

 

SouthGroup Insurance wins the 2016 Grand Prize in the Homestyle Category

SouthGroup Insurance wins the 2016 Grand Prize in the Homestyle Category

 

Southern Hospitality wins people's choice award

Southern Hospitality wins People’s Choice Award

Peddler's Junction wins the spirit award

Peddler’s Junction wins the Spirit Award

 

Thanks to all of the teams who came out to compete across four categories with over $2500 in prizes provided by Magnolia State Bank.

“Cooking chili has always been a serious art form, but this year took taste to a new level of excellence. Our team of judges this year were true experts, and they had a unbelievably  difficult job of picking our winners in each category.

I would like to especially thank Jimmy Don Holmes for coming all the way from Waco, Texas to help us give the ultimate bragging rights to our grand champions

Laurel showed up and showed out this year as attendees not only supported the mission of Laurel Main Street–to create a vibrant and sustainable Downtown Laurel– but also helped us ensure the success of our local businesses, including the Slowboat Brewery!

Thanks to everyone who participated! I can hardly wait for next year when, for the sixth year in a row, we get to experience a day full of energy and good food!”

– Robby Scruggs, 2016 Chili Cook Off Chair

Missed the Cook Off? Watch the recap video!

 

2016 Cook Off Teams

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love
Red Heart Chili Makers
MAC’s Heating and Air
Chili Chokin’ Pepper Bellies
Community Bank Heat
Chili Amigos
SouthGroup
Crossroads Grillin’ and Catering
Creative Computer
Southern Magnolias
Three Cooks and a Caddy
Potlicker’s Chili
Studio 5fifty
Chili 2016
Mississippi Power Company
Red Hot Chili Preppers
Three Amigos Chili
Southern Hospitality
Hot 2 Trot
Lazy Dawgs
Peddler’s Junktion
The Whistle Blowers
The Black Pot Society
Bronco Bettys
Laurel Country Club

Help us to thank our wonderful sponsors and producers

Please visit our sponsors on Facebook to thank them for contributing to the revitalization of our beautiful Downtown Laurel!

Click each sponsor’s logo to leave them a thank you message!

Our Signature Sponsor

Magnolia State Bank

Our Blazing Sponsors

Sanderson Farms

 

Our Spicy Sponsors

Mississippi PowerCentral Sunbelt FCUCommunity Bank Laurel MSSouthern Beverage CoBancorp Southscrmclogohead

gholson-burson-entreken-orr

Our Producers

Mandy and Carl Buchanan
McAlister’s Deli
Studio 550

Thank you for supporting Downtown Laurel!

The 5th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off has arrived!

In less than two weeks, the 500 block of Central Avenue in Downtown Laurel will be transformed. The familiar booths will line the street as local folks walk between them enjoying their wares; judges will make their rounds, whispering about this ingredient or that.

But, this time, there’s something a little different in the air. You see, the annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off is about more than chili recipes and fabulous prizes, it’s about the impact you’ll see long after the contest is over.

Did you know that $1 spent at a local restaurant can result in 88 cents returning to the local economy? That’s nearly double the amount of retail stores and other local businesses, and over 4 times the return from big box stores and national chains. Local restaurants help fuel the economy like no other business, and events like the Chili Cook Off go a long way toward attracting our best chefs and entrepreneurs to the downtown area.

In addition to sparking the imaginations of Laurel entrepreneurs, the Chili Cook Off also serves to directly impact the downtown area by helping to fund the LMS Facade & Amenities grant. This grant helps downtown business owners improve the exterior facade of their buildings, provides amenities like parks, benches and trash receptacles, and helps to build the economic strength of our beautiful downtown.

Want to compete in this year’s cook off?

Does your organization, business or group have a team ready to face the competition during the 2016 Chili Cook Off?

Register by February 15 here!

 

What you can expect from the 5th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off

2015 Chili Cook Off Raffle Prize - Bayou Classic Pot

2015 Raffle – Bayou Classic Pot

On Saturday, February 20th from 10:00 to 2:00 you might find yourself standing amidst the booths on Central Avenue, listening to music from local DJ Jim Thornhill while taking in the delicious smell of over 22 different chili recipes. The teams, competing for over $2000 in prizes and consisting of local groups, organizations, businesses and more, will be waiting to fill your “bottomless” Carl Buchanan pottery bowl as you make your own judgements of who should take home the prized chili trophy.

If you come early, you’ll get to watch as each team prepares their recipe from scratch. No pre-chopping or cooking is allowed! Each team will prepare and cook their secret chili recipe right out in the open for all to watch. Judging will begin at noon, when our expert panel will decide who wins our grand prize.

For those who are not Chili connoisseurs,  free hot dogs are available.  Others will enjoy either the $10 all-you-can-eat bowl or the $25 “bottomless” Carl Buchanan keepsake pottery bowl beginning after the judging at 12:00. A raffle will be held at the end of the event, and the winner will take home a 10 gal cast iron Bayou Classic Jambalya pot and tripod stand. Tickets for the raffle are $10 for 1 or $20 for 3 and can be purchased from any LMS member or at the event.

Judging

This year’s panel of judges includes food service experts and a special guest! In order to ensure fairness, teams will be scored in five categories based on their anonymous submission for tasting. Judges will evaluate entries based on color, aroma, consistency, taste and aftertaste (or bite).

Grand prize winners will be chosen for two categories–Traditional and Homestyle–and will receive $1000 and a traveling trophy. Winners will also be selected for Spirit and People’s Choice! May the best chili win!

Want to know the identity of our judges? You can meet them here.

 

Thank you to our incredible Sponsors and Producers!

Events like the Chili Cook Off just wouldn’t be possible without the support and backing of local businesses. These sponsorships help pay for the prizes, supplies and more! Their donations also help fund the Laurel Main Street Facade & Amenities grant and are directly responsible for the improvements you see in Downtown Laurel.

Our Signature Sponsor

The Chili Cook Off’s signature sponsor is Magnolia State Bank. We are so thankful that they provide financial support and helping hands every year to make this great event a successful one.

Magnolia State Bank

Our Blazing Sponsor

Sanderson Farms

Our Hot Sponsors

Mississippi PowerCentral Sunbelt FCUCommunity Bank Laurel MSSouthern Beverage CoBancorp Southscrmclogohead

gholson-burson-entreken-orr

Our Producers

Event producers provide in-kind support of the event by providing products, services or advertising to make the event a reality. Our valued producers this year are Mandy and Carl Buchanan, who provide our beautiful “bottomless” chili bowls, McAlister’s Deli who provides tea and Studio 550 for helping to organize the event.

Join us February 20, 2016 in Downtown Laurel for the 5th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!