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!










Written by Keri Rowell

Keri is a member of the Laurel Main Street Board of Directors and the Promotions Committee Chair. She has been involved with Laurel Main Street since high school, and owns a small business in Downtown Laurel.