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!

Meet the 2016 Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off Judges!

Jimmy Don Holmes

Jimmy Don Holmes

Jimmy Don Holmes is a born-and-raised Texan with deep roots in the great state of Mississippi. His great-grandfather moved his family from his native Mississippi to Dolorosa and then to Crawford in search of good farming land. Jimmy Don now lives on that land with his wife, Lori, and their 4 kids. An avid hunter and champion calf roper ,he boasts a Texas-sized appetite and has eaten more chili than some men twice his size. Currently the metal working magician on HGTV’s most popular show in history, Fixer Upper; he takes Joanna Gaines’s sign ideas and makes them into solid steel realities. Stars Over Texas, a custom metal sign company, has become so popular through her store, Magnolia Market, that he no longer takes on custom orders.

Ben Napier

Ben Napier

Ben Napier is owner of Scotsman Co., a woodshop where he makes simple, history-inspired fine furniture from reclaimed wood. Co-owner of Lucky Luxe Heirloom Design with his wife, Erin, together they host the new HGTV pilot Home Town where they help restore historic houses in their hometown of Laurel.  Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Mississippi in 2007. He appears every year as Laurel Main Street’s Loblolly Festival Lumberjack and says he knows chili like his mama knows cooking.

 

Jeff Good

Jeff Good

Jeff Good is the President of Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group, parent of three uniquely successful Jackson, Miss. restaurants: BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar, Broad Street Baking Co., and Sal & Mookie’s. Moving from Salt Lake City, Utah in 1980, Jeff attended Murrah High School and graduated from Millsaps College with a degree in Business Administration. He is past president of both the Jackson Restaurant Association and the Mississippi Restaurant Association and, through Soul City Hospitality, he has an ongoing mission to develop Mississippi’s local food economy.

Jay Cherski

 Jay Cherski

Jay Cherski was born and raised somewhere in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. While attending college in Texas, Jay visited the historic town of Terlingua and experienced his first Chili Cook-off. Jay has been a chili cook-off fan ever since, judging several and frequently competing. He has eaten chili in the jungles of Guatemala, the frozen wastelands of Siberia, and even New York City. He is currently a medical management software consultant for Jefferson Medical Associates in Laurel.

 

Whitney Pickering

 

Whitney Pickering

Whitney Pickering’s career began in the test kitchens of Southern Living, spans 20 years with its parent company and includes over 20 cookbook titles as a foods editor, most notably Bounty of Biltmore, a collaboration with the chefs of The Biltmore Estate, and being named National Vice President for Southern Living at HOME. In 2007, the Mississippi Business Journal recognized her as one of Mississippi’s Top 50 Business Women. The next year she was named one of Mississippi’s Top 40 Under 40. She is currently a grant writer for the City of Laurel and an active board member of Laurel Main Street.

Think our panel would like your chili? Create a team and sign up here!

Jones County Sheriff’s Dept wins 2015 MSB Chili Cook Off!

With 27 enthusiastic teams competing and over 1,000 chili-loving attendees coming out to taste their wares, the 4th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off was our best cook off event yet!

Laurel Main Street Executive Director Judi Holifield says, “This is becoming a premiere event for downtown Laurel! It was a great day of southern pride and community spirit.”

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 4th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

Jones County Sheriff's Department 2015 Chili Cook Off Grand Prize Winners

Jones County Sheriff’s Department
2015 Chili Cook Off Grand Prize Winners

Crossroads Catering 2nd Place Winners

Crossroads Catering
2015 2nd Place Winners

Creative Computer 3rd Prize Winners

Creative Computer
2015 3rd Prize Winners

Dunn Roadbuilders 2015 Spirit Award Winners

Dunn Roadbuilders
2015 Spirit Award Winners

Southern Hospitality 2015 People's Choice Award Winners

Southern Hospitality
2015 People’s Choice Award Winners

Thanks to all of the teams who came out to compete for the prized Chili Trophy and the $1,000 grand prize provided by Magnolia State Bank.

“You guys made this year’s cook-off the best so far! It’s people like you that are helping Laurel to quicken back to life. I know everyone can’t win first place with their chili, but the ultimate winner – The City Beautiful, Laurel – is the sole purpose for this and the other events held in historic downtown. (You are all winners in my book!)

Now if you thought the wind this week-end almost blew you off your feet just wait till you findout what is going to go down at next year’s Magnolia State Bank’s 5th Annual Chili cook off. IT’S GONNA BLOW YOU AWAY. We never thought 5 years ago that we would have to cap the entries but you may want to sign up early.

Thanks again and looking forward to next year!!”

– Robby Scruggs, 2015 Chili Cook Off Chair

2015 Cook Off Teams

Jones County Sheriff’s Department
Crossroads Grillin’
Creative Computer
Southgroup Insurance
Chili Chokin’ Pepper Bellies
Three Amigos
Chili Dawgs
Dunn’s Roadkill Brew
Central Sunbelt FCU
Chill Amigos
“Culturalized” Redneck Chili Peppers
Pirates of the Chili Bean
Slow Ahead
Mississippi Power
Helping Hands Carnival Crew
Old Smokey Tent Revival
Amp up the chili man!
Chill-Li
Community Bank
Chili Commander
Southern Hospitality
Hot 2 Trot
Red Hot Chili Preppers
Chiliritaville
Krewe of Chez
Buffalo Fire
Roper’s

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/5-Alarm Sponsor

Magnolia State Bank

Our Blazing Sponsor

Sanderson Farms

Our Hot Sponsors

Mississippi PowerCentral Sunbelt FCUCommunity Bank Laurel MSSouthern Beverage CoBancorp Southscrmclogohead

Our Spicy Sponsor

gholson-burson-entreken-orr

Our Producers

Mandy and Carl Buchanan
Raising Cane’s
Studio 550
Laurel Leader Call
The Chronicle

Thank you for supporting Downtown Laurel!

It’s time for the 4th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

In 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 2015 Chili Cook Off?

Register before February 16 here!

The competition is fierce every year as teams compete to win it all! See what Bobby has to say about it:

What you can expect from the 4th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off

2015 Chili Cook Off Raffle Prize - Bayou Classic Pot

2015 Raffle – Bayou Classic Pot

On Saturday, February 21st 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 the $1000 prize 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. Judges will circulate at noon, watching and waiting for their chance to decide who will win it all.

Children will get free all-you-can-eat chili and hot dogs, while adults will enjoy either the $10 all-you-can-eat bowl or the $25 “bottomless” Carl Buchanan keepsake pottery bowl beginning after the judging at 12:30. 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.

Art activities will be available for children of all ages!

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/5-Alarm Sponsor

This year’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

Our Spicy Sponsor

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, Raising Cane‘s who provides tea and lemonade, Studio 550 for helping to organize the event, and the Laurel Leader Call and The Chronicle for providing advertising space.

The 2015 Chili Trophy Tour

6623929_GBefore the event, watch for updates from us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter about the 2015 Traveling Chili Trophy Tour! The beautiful chili trophy, carved by chainsaw artist Dayton Scoggins, will be on display at various restaurants throughout Downtown Laurel during lunch or dinner. Take a photo of the trophy and post it to social media with the hashtag #chilitrophytour2015, tag Laurel Main Street, and you’ll be entered to win a FREE long-sleeve Laurel Main Street t-shirt!

The 2015 Chili Trophy Tour will kick off this Friday, February 13 at Cafe La Fleurs in Downtown Laurel. It will remain there through Valentine’s Day, Saturday February 14, during their special opening hours for the holiday. Be creative with your photo and show off your #iliveinlaurel spirit!

Join us February 21, 2015 in Downtown Laurel for the 4th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!