Bluegras Heritage Foundation | Making Bluegrass Happen


October 20, 2012, Gates open to public at 10:30 am

Farmers Branch Historical Park, 2540 Farmers Branch Lane

Free admission to festival.  Chili tasting cup $3.00.

Chili tasting from 11:00 am-2:00 pm – or as long as the chili lasts!

Live bands, hot chili and lots of fun for a great cause!

Join us for some of the best tasting chili in DFW!  There will be live music by Grand Ole Opry stars and Grammy-winning bluegrass bands, a children’s play area, vendor booths and the best chili you’ve ever had.  This event is sanctioned by CASI (, admission is FREE, and all ages are welcome.  Tasting cups can be purchased for $3.00 to sample all entries in the People’s Choice category.  All proceeds will benefit the non-profit Friends of the Farmers Branch Historical Park and Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.

What is CASI?
CASI stands for Chili Appreciation Society International.  These are the folks that hold the biggest cook-off in the US every year in Terlingua, Texas.  Anyone who would like to become a member of CASI should visit

Chili Cooks FAQs

Is the cook off open to everyone?
Yes!  There is space for 75 chili teams, so it is first come, first reserved.  Registration will be on site beginning at 8:00 am.  $20 check or cash will be accepted.

How much does it cost to participate?
Registration is $20.  Each cook will receive a “Cooks Package” including a commemorative Bloomin' Bluegrass Apron.  Your registration fee covers one 12x12 space in which to set up your covered cooking area.  We will provide electricity if specified on your application. Teams will be responsible for providing their own equipment including cover for cooking area, chairs, tables, and all cooking supplies (no open fire for cooking).  All teams must provide a fire extinguisher.   

Where do I park?
Each team can bring in one vehicle into the park.  The Cookoff Entrance is located at the intersection of Farmers Branch Lane and Bee Street (2540 Farmers Branch Lane).  Additional vehicles can be parked at Metro Square Business Park, 12300 Ford Road (free shuttles will be provided).

What are the categories?
There are four categories that will be judged:  Chili, People’s Choice, Pot of Beans, and Show Team

  • Chili (CASI rules):  These are the chili teams competing for the top 10 winning cups.  Chili will be judged on Aroma, Consistency, Red Color, Taste, and Aftertaste. This is a ground beef only competition, so no fillers (beans, pasta, etc) may be added.  Chili must be cooked onsite using the CASI rules.  We encourage everyone to bring approximately 2 lbs of meat to participate.  Chili will be turned in to the judges at 2:00pm.
  • People’s Choice:  This is the chili team that is chosen as the crowd favorite.  The People’s Choice voting ballots are passed out when a sample cup is purchased (one ballot per sample cup).  When you register your chili team, you are automatically in the running for the People’s Choice Award (one winner).  Make sure you bring plenty of “throw down” chili!  People’s Choice opens at 11:00am for sampling. 
  • Pot of Beans:  This is a totally separate pot of just beans.  Registration is $5 for beans.  These teams are competing for the top 3 winning cups of beans.  There are no restrictions and anything can be used.  Beans will have cash prizes!  50% for 1st, 30% for 2nd and 20% for 3rd
  • Show Team:  This is a chili team that not only cooks chili, but also is entertaining and has some skit or theme.  You must indicate on your registration form that you want to be considered for “Show.”  Top three show teams will get prizes so get creative and have fun! 

What is “throw down” chili?
This is the chili used for the sampling cups for the public; you will be eligible to compete in the People’s Choice category if you provide throw down chili.  This is also the biggest way to help Bloomin’ Bluegrass raise money for our non-profit organizations:  The Friends of the Farmers Branch Historical Park and Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.  Just be sure to reserve enough for the judging cup (a large Styrofoam cup is about 14-16 oz).  A very large prize will be awarded to the winner!

What will I win?

  • Chili (CASI rules):  1st Place - $100 Visa Gift Card, Prize Pack & Plaque - 2nd Place - $75 Visa Gift Card, Prize Pack & Plaque - 3rd Place - $50 Visa Gift Card & Plaque - 4th-10th Place - $35 Visa Gift Card & Plaque
  • People’s Choice:  $300 Visa Gift Card , Prize Pack & Plaque
  • Pot of Beans:  1st Place - 50%, 2nd Place - 30% and 2rd Place - 20% of the bean registration fee.
  • Show Team:  1st Place - $100 Visa Gift Card, Prize Pack & Plaque - 2nd Place - $75 Visa Gift Card, Prize Pack & Plaque - 3rd Place - $50 Visa Gift Card & Plaque

What is the schedule?

8:00 am-10:00 am Set Up & Cooking Begins – Vehicles will not be permitted to drive in after 10:00am.
10:00 am Head Cooks’ Meeting & Show Team Meeting
10:30 am Festival Gates Open
11:00 am  Begin Serving Chili for People’s Choice, Show Teams begin
1:00 pm Bean Turn In
2:00 pm Chili Turn In
3:45 pm Award Winners

Prohibited Items:

  • No glass
  • No pets
  • No outside alcoholic beverages
  • No firearms
  • Event will take place rain or shine
  • All teams and exhibitors are responsible for cleaning up their area.

For more information about the Bloomin’ Bluegrass Chili Cook Off:

Contact Meredith Dowdy at or call (972) 919-2631.

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