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Harlan Haunt Fest Chili Cook-Off

This year's Harlan Haunt Fest will hold the inaugural Haunt Fest Chili Cook-Off! Hosted by Celebrity Judge Chef Joe Arvin!

Joe Arvin is best known as a member of the Big Brother house during Season 14, and he is currently the host of the Food Channel show Food Truckers TV!

Joe Arvin will be featuring the 1st Place Overall winner on an episode of Food Truckers TV during the event!


Official Rules and Regulations for

Harlan Haunt Fest Chili Cook-Off

The following rules are to be adhered to by all cooks, judges and/or assistants:


  • Chili for this competition is defined as any kind of meat or combination of meats cooked with chili peppers, various other spices and other ingredients.


  • One entry is allowed per Haunt Fest Ticket.


  • There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for “Best Overall”  and separate awards for “Most Creative” and “Best Use of Local Ingredients”.


  • 1st place for “Best Overall” will be featured on an episode of Food Truckers TV with Chef Joe Arvin.


  • All ingredients must be pre-cooked & treated prior to the event – chili is to be brought “ready-to-eat”.


  • Contestants are responsible for supplying all of their own utensils and products relating to their chili submission and maintenance of it’s proper temperature for serving such as Crockpot, ladle, etc.  Spoons and cups for use in serving chili will be provided by Haunt Fest.


  • Each contestant must cook a minimum of four (4) quarts of competition chili. Contestants are permitted to prepare only one (1) pot of competition chili, which will be submitted for judging. Any additional chili (Other than that which is submitted) will be for public consumption.


  • Each contestant will be assigned a “contestants number” by the Chief Scorekeeper and be given a container in which their chili will be collected at the time of the official judging. Each contestant should verify that the number on the bottom of their container is the same as their contestants’ number assigned to them by the Chief Scorekeeper.


  • The decision of the judges is final. Judging will be based on score cards which are numbered.  The final tally will be from the judges score cards plus “the people’s choice.”


  • Each contestant is responsible for policing and cleaning up the area at the end of the day and removing all items from the area. No items shall be allowed to remain after the close of the Cook-off.



In this competition the chili will be blind judged (the judges will not know the identity of the cook) and scorecards will be based on the following characteristics:

  1. Texture: Texture of the meat being not be tough or mushy

  2. Flavor: Good flavoring and chili pepper taste (not too hot or not too mild)

  3. Consistency: A smooth combination of meat and gravy not too thin or too thick

  4. Spice and taste: Blending of the spices and how well they have permeated the meat

  5. Aroma: This will be a personal preference of the judge

  6. Color: The submitted chili should look appetizing

  7. Creativity: Originality and uniqueness.

  8. Best Use of Local Ingredients: Use of farm to table and/or KY Proud food product with proof (image or proof of purchase)


    There will be a Peoples Choice ballot box for people to vote for the chili.  Ballots  will be collected at the end of the judging and tallied and that score added to the judges score for the final tally.



    Harlan Haunt Fest Chili Cook-Off Committee will provide the cups and spoons for sampling chili and the 1 quart container for your competition chili submission.


Haunt Fest Chili Cook-Off Registration Forms

Registration forms for the Haunt Fest Chili Cook-Off can be emailed to or

Forms can also be hand delivered during the day of the event.

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