The event began last year as a desire of Brookhaven resident Jonathan Colon to provide more festivals in the city.
“We know this area is up and coming,” Colon said. “A few years ago we decided we want to do multiple events including a food event. There is a need for more festivals in the area besides the art festival. Also, we want to have quality events where the community can come and enjoy themselves.”
Event organizer Shane Aubrey said the cookoff was designed as a family-friendly affair and to give back to charity. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Fundraising Foundation.
“We chose this charity since it is a small organization,” Colon said. “Also, they provide a service for someone who might have had a little too much to drink by helping them get home safely and since we will be selling beer at the festival, we thought this was a great way to promote safe driving.”
The event has two stages of preparation. The first is getting teams and then having people come to the event. Colon said they are hoping for 3,000 attendees, which is double from last year. He also said they have worked to have a better and more guest-friendly space.
“For a first-year event it went pretty well,” Colon said. “We had roughly 1,500 attendees and over 30 chili teams with a lot of community support.”
At the event, Aubrey said they have 38 teams signed up but will accept team registration forms until the day of the cookoff.
Out of the registered teams the majority are amateur chefs. Aubrey said there are 15 restaurants and six are from Brookhaven.
Chili teams will compete to win one of four titles — Best Chili Amateurs, Best Chili Restaurants, Most Spirited Team and the People’s Choice Award. The top three winners of each category will receive a medal and plaque. Aubrey said the first place amateur will receive $500.
Besides featuring chili creations, the event will include five different bands including Sailing to Denver, the Ian Schumacher Band and Brookhaven band Forje. There will also be a children’s area with arts and crafts.
If you go:
When: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Brookhaven Warehouse District, 2740 Apple Valley Road, Atlanta
Cost: Admission is free but to taste is $5 in advance and $10 at the door