8Head of the Lakes United Way invites you to
                                ENTER a CHILI in the 28th Annual

Chili Cook-Off!


Taire Lind Suliin 


Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM CDT
Doors will open at 1:00 p.m. for set-up. Judging begins at 3:00, and door open to the public at 5:00 and will end at 7:00.
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350 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802

Driving Directions 


Thursday, September 19, 2019
Contestant Setup:
1:30 - 3:00 pm
Closed Judging:
3:00 - 4:30 pm
Public Tasting:
5:00 - 7:00 pm
7:00 pm

Questions: Call us! 726-4794 or 726-4770
Email: tlindsuliin@hlunitedway.org

Registration checklist:
  1. Make AT LEAST 15 gallons of chili
  2. All food MUST be prepared in a LICENSED KITCHEN (email or call us for a list)
  3. Complete and submit the online registation form (click below)
  4. Submit $50 registration fee by September 13, 2019 to:
    (Note: only $25 for Charitable 501(c)(3) orgs.)

Head of the Lakes United Way
Attn: Chili Cook-Off
424 W. Superior St. Suite 402
Duluth, MN 55802

  1. Food Supplies must come from an approved commercial source. In no case shall dented cans or otherwise compromised food be used in preparation.
  2. No home processed foods. Garden fresh produce is acceptable.
  3. Chili must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 prior to arrival and it must be maintained at 140 or above.
  4. An adult shall be responsible for the operation of the booth and shall supervise any minors working at the booth.
  5. Each table must have facilities for hand washing and cleanup (e.g. moist towelettes and paper towels, and a spray bottle containing germicidal solutions (one tsp household bleach to one gallon water).
  6. All servers and preparers shall maintain their hands in clean, sanitary condition and wash hands immediately after going to the toilet, handling raw food, smoking, or otherwise soiling their hands. Find additional hand washing stations on the floor.
  7. All servers and preparers must wear gloves and, for long hair, effective hair restrains such as hairnets, headbands or caps.
  8. Servers must not use tobacco in any form while on duty.
  9. You must serve chili to the public with gloved hands. All condiments, like chips, also must be served by you or with correct serving utensil. Can use individual packets but you must keep cold items cold. Hint: use bowl sitting in ice. Ice provided.


  1. Make AT LEAST 15 gallons of chili.
  2. Bring your chili heated to AT LEAST 140 when you arrive at the DECC or you will not be able to serve your chili! NO access to electricity is available.
  3. Small serving cups and spoons are provided. Please DO NOT bring your own.
  4. The Health Inspector does NOT ALLOW self serve unless single-serve packets are provided. (Example: no open bowls of chips unless YOU serve them with gloved hands)
  5. Remember to bring extra chili in a container that will maintain temperature at 140 such as an insulated cooler lined with a food service bag or other heat-retaining container. 
  6. United Way provides two ladles but YOU provide chafing dish, Sterno for 6 hours, latex food service gloves and hand washing solution.
  7. Hint: Only serve small amounts of chili to avoid running out and losing possible votes!
  8. Set up from 1:30 - 3:00 pm at DECC - enter Bayside Door 6.

AWARDS~Judging begins at 3:00 pm!
  • One of each: Best Spirit, Hottest-Yet-Edible, Most Unique, Vegetarian, People's Choice Awards
  • 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place for Each: Professional & Amateur Divisions
  • Chili is judged on aroma, taste, texture, after-taste and visual appearance


Unload vehicle promptly at the DECC Arena, Door 6, (Lake side of DECC across from Vista Fleet dock). Look for volunteers at Door 6 for directions. Important: Unattended vehicles may be towed at owners expense.

  • 4 complimentary tickets are provided to contestants at Contestant Check-In.
  • Additional tickets can be purchased at the DECC on event night. 
  • There is a $5 parking charge at the DECC and the Bayfront Parking lot.