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S.C. Chili Championship Looking for Contestants

BELTON -- Got a favorite chili or salsa recipe?
Want to try it out on some real chili lovers?
Then enter the recipe in the 2011 S.C. Chili Cook-off Championships presented by MSW Security Solutions on April 16 in downtown Belton.
Amateur cooks are welcome to enter the “People’s Choice” division, open to all amateurs who just want to test out their recipes, said Jim Bright, one of the organizers of the event.
“If you think you make the world’s best chili, best chili verde (green chili), or best salsa, we encourage you to compete in the 2011 Upstate Chili Cook-off as either an official ICS competitor or a People’s Choice competitor,” said Bright.
The second annual event will benefit three nonprofit organizations - Belton Area Museum Association, Belton Center for the Arts and the Belton Interfaith Ministerial Association.
“We look forward to helping them even more in 2011,” said Bright about the nonprofits.
The People’s Choice division allows amateur cooks to try their hands at a cooking competition.
On the professional side, the event will determine the International Chili Society’s state champions in chili and salsa, who qualify to compete on a world level.
Allen Querbin of Marion, who won last year’s state championship in Belton and went to the world’s cook-off, has signed up to come back this year.
Locals Matt Lusk, last year’s People’s Choice winner, and Chris Galloway - both area residents - will be back for another shot at the professional title.
More sponsors are still needed for the event, with a number of sponsors having already signed up, said Bright, who extends thanks to all of the sponsors.
Interested businesses have until April 1 to buy an ad in the program.
Admission for this year’s event will be $5 and the donation of one canned good item, which will go directly to the Belton Interfaith Ministerial Association for its food pantry.

About the event: The second annual Upstate Chili Cook-off is the only chili cook-off in the state endorsed by the International Chili Society. The winning professional entries will qualify to compete on a world level. Prizes will be awarded to the top pros and amateurs, as well as the best vendor booth and best showmanship. This year’s event will feature both chili and salsa competitions on the historic square in downtown Belton. All proceeds benefit local charities. Belton is located in Anderson County.

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