GREAT BARRINGTON - Housatonic-based author Gina Hyams and The Meat Market will host a chili contest to celebrate publication of Hyams’s new book/kit, "Chili Cook-off in a Box: Everything You Need to Host a Chili Cook-off" on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Meat Market, 389 Stockbridge Road. Admission is $10 at the door and free for chili contestants. Proceeds from the event will benefit Berkshire Grown’s Share the Bounty project, which buys shares in local CSA farms to donate to area food pantries and kitchens. Everyone who attends the contest will get to sample various chili entries and vote for the best one.
"You don’t need to be a chili expert to enter the contest, you just need passion for the spice of life," said Hyams. All kinds of chili are welcome: meat, poultry, vegetarian, or any combination. Contestants will need to deliver a gallon of their favorite chili to The Meat Market at 3 p.m. on the day of the contest in either in a crock-pot or disposable chafing set, as well as provide a serving spoon and a list of recipe ingredients. To enter the chili contest, send an email to email@example.com that states the type of chili you’ll be entering and your phone number.
"Chili Cook-off in a Box" will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on September 11, 2012. The kit includes a chili cook-off handbook, judge badges, prize ribbons, table tents, and scorecards. The handbook starts with a brief history of chili, then provides step-by-step instructions for how to organize a chili cook-off, chili music playlists, recommendations for chili cook-off themes, a mail-order resource list for chili ingredients, prize-winning recipes and wisdom from chili cook-off winners across the country, and "zen of judging chili" tips to help prepare judges for the big day. It’s the second kit in Hyams’s "In a Box" series of cooking contests, which also includes "Pie Contest in a Box" (published last summer) and "Christmas Cookie Contest in a Box" (forthcoming November 13, 2012).
The Meat Market, which specializes in locally-raised meats, will have special chili grinds and blends available for sale. For more information about the shop and the author, see themeatmarketgb.com and www.ginahyams.com.