MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The 56th annual World Championship Chili Cook-Off is back in Myrtle Beach this weekend as chefs and food lovers gather downtown for the Beach ‘n Chili Fest.
Organizers call it the Super Bowl for chili lovers around the world, and the weekend is more competitive than you might think. More than 5,000 chili chefs from around the world dream of making it to Myrtle Beach to compete for top honors.
There will be more than 400 variations of chili judged during the weekend as teams compete for the title of “World Champion” and a share of a $75,000 prize purse. It’s the third year for the event on the Grand Strand, and organizers said Myrtle Beach is the perfect fit because of the local support and, of course, the beach.
As for choosing the winners, each judge is trained and knows exactly what to look for.
“What we’re looking for is consistency,” said Mike McCloud, the president and commissioner of the World Championship Chili Cook-Off. “We’re looking for flavor. We’re looking for, if it’s got beef that it’s cubed, and it is consistent and it’s cooked right.” Usually, the chili contestants are trying to pop you right in the taste buds as hard as they can.”
The “Beach ‘n Chili Fest” will take place Friday through Sunday at Burroughs and Chapin Pavilion. The gates open at 11 a.m. each day, and general admission is free. Chili sampling tickets start at $15.
The News13 team will be there with our very own chili recipe. For more on the “Beach ‘n Chili Fest,” check out the eatgreatchili website.
Taylor Maresca is the weekend morning anchor and morning reporter at News13. She joined the team in June 2022 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Taylor is from Houston. Follow Taylor on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of her work here.