The Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off
began as an annual event in 1989, when four vegetarian societies from across the state of Texas joined to form the Lone Star Vegetarian Network. In the years since, the cook-off has been held in multiple locations all across the state, including West Columbia, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, El Paso, South Padre Island, Fort Worth, and for a run of several years in Austin. This year's event will benefit the Texas Humane Legislation Network
, the voice for animals in the Texas Legislature. The Cook-Off is returning to the site of the 2011 cook-off, at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
The goals of the Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off are first, to have fun and entertain everyone, and second to show everybody by example that "regular" foods can be just as tasty when they're prepared vegetarian. Vegetarian food can come in very familiar and very delicious forms, and the classic Tex-Mex tradition of chili is a perfect example.
Every year hundreds of people come to taste the chilis prepared by around twenty different teams from all over the state of Texas. These chilis are all completely vegan, no animal products used in their preparation whatsoever. In addition to the competing chili teams, there are many informational and educational booths, products and services offered by local vendors, a silent auction, and live music and entertainment. People who pay to taste the chilis will move from team to team, tasting and judging the chilis for themselves to determine the People's Choice award, while a group of judges decide the three winners of Best Chili, as well as Best in Show (Best Booth).
The cook-off is open to the public. If you want to taste the chilis being prepared for competition, the price is only $10 for adults (13 years and older), $7 for children 6-12 years (free for children 5 and younger!), and $8 for seniors, veterans, and college students (with ID). You get to taste all the vegan chilis and vote for your favorite. If you're interested in competing as a chili cook-off team, or if you're a vendor or organization interested in setting up a booth, please check the "Contestant" and "Exhibitor" links on the left for the information and forms you need.
The Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off has been messin’ with this Texas tradition for 26 years now, keeping chili weird, but also vegan and delicious. Mark your calendar and plan to catch the fun.