Published: Jul 11, 2013 7:33 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 11, 2013 7:38 AM EDT

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - Chefs or cooks with a great chili recipe are invited to participate in the fourth annual Great American Chili Cook- Off.

It happens Sunday, July 14, at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Spa, Fort Myers Beach.

The contest is sponsored by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and will benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

The contest will be limited to a maximum of 30 teams or individuals. Each chili entrant will be charged $40.00. Teams or individuals will be permitted to set up starting at 10:00 a.m. There will be a “cooks’ meeting” at 1:00 p.m.

The event is open to the public, beginning at 3:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to bring a $5 cash donation as well as canned and dry food donations for the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Both a “people’s choice” and “most unique” award will be voted on by the public.

All chili must be prepared on site from scratch with natural ingredients in the open. Cooks must bring a printed recipe card.

Judging starts at 4:00 p.m. and will consist of the following qualities: aroma, consistency, color, taste, and aftertaste.

Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st place—medal and $250 cash, 2nd place—medal and $100 cash, and 3rd place—medal and $50 cash. Both the “people’s choice” and “best table decorations” will receive medals.

For more information and registration, contact Chef Craig Panneton at 239-463-8613 or

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. Over 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank monthly. For each $1, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and grocery items. In the past fiscal year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 15.1 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $25 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 12.5 million meals to people in need.

For additional information about or to contribute financially to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, contact 239-334-7007 or go to