“My mother made the best green chile, hands down” explains Jacque Aragon, who has organized the cook-off for the last fourteen years. “I’m proud to carry on the family tradition and love seeing other people get excited about making and eating green chile.”
Roughly 50 amateur and professional entrants compete each year in the cook-off. Some cooks get creative; others go classic style. Without their generous contribution of time, effort, and ingredients, this community event would not be possible. The entry fee and form are due prior to Saturday, along with $10. Cooks are required to show up with their crockpots and ingredient lists between 10:00-10:30 am in order to start the official judging on time.
Three judges volunteer for the difficult and filling job of choosing their favorite chiles. Each judge tastes all chiles present and rates them on a scale from 1-10, plus takes notes in case the scores are close. Then the scores are added up and monies are awarded to first, second and third places in the meat and vegetarian categories. Once the judges are finished, the tasting is opened up to the public, who by this time has created a formidable queue. Each person who participates in the tasting and pays $15 is entitled to ten tastes and a vote for the People’s Choice Award, which is the most votes overall at the end when the chile has been consumed.
Some people prefer scorching hot chile, others like it mild; some cooks use chicken, others use pork or no meat at all. No matter how you make your green chile, you’ll have a chance to show your stuff in September and possibly win some cash or a trophy and the undying admiration of local green chile aficionados.
More information and complete rules will be available within the next month, but for now – save the date!