People's Choice Rules for the NJ State Chili & Salsa Cookoff


  1. 2017 Peoples Choice Salsa 1st Place
    Frank Benowitz - Jersey General Salsa Co.
    The People’s Choice category is open to all competitors, either individuals or commercial kitchens.
  2. Your People’s Choice Chili recipe can contain any kind of meat or combination of meats, chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients.
  3. We recommend at least 10 gallons of People's Choice Chili! Our cook-off draws a huge crowd! Bring as much chili as you possibly can!
  4. Your People’s Choice Chili and Salsa must be made in a licensed commercial kitchen or prepared on site at the Cook-off. Please see the Ocean County Board of Health’s requirements.
  5. Contestants are responsible for supplying all of their own cooking utensils, including a fire extinguisher. Contestants must also supply their own tent, table, chairs and booth decorations. The cook-off committee will provide a 10’ x 10’ space for each contestant, and a 2 oz. ladle for serving the chili, as well as cups and spoons for tasting the chilies.

  People's Choice Tips

Is this your first time competing? Here are some tips!


  1. 2017 Best Booth - Habanero Brothers
    The People’s Choice Chili Champion will be the contestant who receives the most ballots cast by the public. Ballots, cups and spoons are contained in the tasting kits sold the day of the event.
  2. The more chili and/or salsa you have, the more you can give out, thus increasing your chances at getting votes.
  3. Having a unique chili and/or salsa name, a festive booth and showmanship can draw the public to your booth for tasting. It’s a fact that the best booths get the most votes. Have fun, bring family & friends!
  4. Your chili should be original enough to stand out from the rest but not so hot that you scorch the palate of the public. Any one can make it hot but it takes skill to make it taste great!

chili   Cooks Set-up

  • Each cook is allotted a 10’x10’ space street-side.
  • We suggest the following items for a basic setup: Propane stove only, Class ABC fire extinguisher, tables, chairs, canopy/tent, & decorations.
  • Have FUN, get creative! We judge on Best Booth!

chili   Cooks Parking

  • We have a designated parking lot for your convenience behind the event location. Upon unloading your vehicle, please move your vehicle to the lot located behind Sovereign Bank.
  • How do you get here? Follow Washington Street going west; make a right turn onto Hyers Street and the first right into the parking lot. (Downtown Parking Map)