Cooks from across the nation are looking to put a little spice in their lives by signing up to compete in the 23rd Annual St. Jude Chili Cook-Off.
"The cook-off is right around the corner and Minden has again been designated as the site for the 2014 Louisiana State Championship," said cook-off chairman George E. French III. "State championships not only draw more cooks but the first three Louisiana cooks that place automatically qualify for the world championships held in Terlingua, Texas during the first weekend of November."
Sponsored by Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) and hosted by CASI members, the annual cook-off will be held Saturday, February 1 at the Minden Civic Center in conjunction with the Minden St. Jude Auction.
"A People's Choice Competition will be included," French said. "The public is invited and encouraged to attend and taste world class chili while enjoying live music by the rocking good band, Bayou Magic."
A "Local Cooks" category is being held again this year. Interested local cooks and seasoned competitors are strongly encouraged to participate by contacting French at 371-5601 for more information. The 2014 cook-off will be preceded by a gumbo supper for chili cooks from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday during the auction.
Last year five former world champs and the national CASI president joined to help out. Ninety-one cooks registered and more than 400 tasting cups were sold to the crowds that came out to sample chili.
Donations totaling $1,106,269 were raised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by the auction.
"This included $7,018 from the chili cook-off alone," French said. "For our efforts, Minden folks were recognized as a 'Million Dollar City.'"