Cook info

People's Choice Chili / Salsa is part of the ICS entry fee.

We recommend at least 15 gallons of People's Choice Chili! Our cook-off draws a huge crowd! Bring as much chili as you possibly can!

The more you bring, the better chance you have to win that $1,000 first place prize!

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

  1. MCCC 2013 Winner of PC Salsa
    2014 Winners Peoples Choice Salsa 1st Place -
    Andrew DaPuzzo – Shaker Shop-Rite
    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, but MUST have beans or pasta.
  3. We recommend at least 15 gallons of People's Choice Chili! Our cook-off draws a huge crowd! Bring as much chili as you possibly can!
  4. You do not have to be a member of the International Chili Society to compete in the People’s Choice category.
  5. New this year: 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Contestants MUST turn in Ballot Canister to Town Hall by 4:00 pm.

People's Choice Tips

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


  1. 2014 Peoples Choice Salsa 1st Place
    Frank Benowitz - Jersey General Salsa Co.
    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. For the Salsa competition, we recommend you pre-scoop salsa into the tortilla chips we provide. Place the chips on a tray. Ballots are contained in the tasting kits sold the day of the event.
  3. The more chili and/or salsa you have, the more you can give out, thus increasing your chances at getting votes.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!