Wednesday, September 12, 2012

International Chili Society holds Certified Chili Judges class at World’s Championship

Get ready! Here’s your chance to become part of an American tradition… and finally get a fancy title to go with your name. Think of it, the Honorable Judge – you. Of course, we are talking about chili here. That’s what makes it so special. If you’ve ever been to a chili cook off, you know how much fun they are, if you haven’t, you’re missing out. And the cooks and judges have the most fun. Now, that doesn’t mean being a judge is not serious business. Ask any Chilihead. Competitive chili cooks train hard and work even harder. With a little training you can have the privilege of sampling world-class chili, right in the middle of the competition, in front of family and friends and all you have to do is become a Certified Chili Judge.

The International Chili Society (ICS), the not-for-profit worldwide chili event sanctioning organization, is bringing its Certified Chili Judges course to Charleston, W. Va on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, in conjunction with the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff to teach anyone with a love of chili, food or competitive cooking how to qualify as a judge at a chili cook off event. Class participants will learn about “true chili” from Steve Porter, Chief Judge for the WCCC, and Jim Beaty, the 1986 WCCC Champion. Participants will be given a chance to judge 8-10 bowls of chili in the class while participating in group discussions and comparing results with other aspiring chili judges.

Exclusive to the Charleston Certified Chili Judges courses, anyone participating in either class will automatically earn a spot at the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff judges table. Think about it, you could be a judge on the ultimate judging bench holding the gavel that decides which chili recipes are declared “world’s best.” That’s a powerfully tasty position to be in.

Both judges courses will be held in the Gauley Room at the Charleston Marriott Town Center, Charleston, W. Va. Thursday’s class begins at 3:30p.m. and Friday’s class begins at 7:30a.m. Pre-registration is strongly recommended as walk-ins will be welcomed as space allows.

It’s easy, so get registered today! Class space is limited so be sure to secure your spot at the judges’ table. The Certified Chili Judges courses are open to anyone with an interest in participating and do not require any previous experience in cooking chili or competing in events. So no excuses here. Everyone loves chili…right?

Listen to what John Jepson, winner at the prestigious 2011 World’s Championship Chili Cookoff and ICS Grand Master Cook, who has been working at his chili recipe for a self-described “28 long years” had to say when asked to give advice to people interested in joining the world of competitive chili:

“Take the judges course,” stressed Jepson. “Then go out to a local chili cook off and judge a few. Learn what competition chili is all about! It’s great fun!”

He should know.

Once you’re certified, you’ll be qualified to judge in International Chili Society chili competitions, both locally and regionally, and for the Charleston, W.Va. courses exclusively, the World’s Chili Championship Cookoff. Think of the excitement…and free chili!

For those who already compete in chili cook offs, the class is the perfect way to gain an advantage over the competition by knowing exactly what the judges are looking for.

The Certified Chili Judge course fee is $95, which includes a one-year membership to the International Chili Society. If you are already an ICS member, you will receive a 50% discount to take the course. The ICS has 2,000 members and sanctions 700 events worldwide annually.

If you're interested in taking this course, please contact Vickie Marnick at or call the ICS office at (904) 379-2558. To learn more about the International Chili Society and the benefits of an ICS membership, visit

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