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Chili Cookoff
Food Vendor

Art Coalition Unite
Chili Cookoff
Vendor Application 

Support our mission and join in for our annual Chili Cookoff!  

General Guidelines:

• Each booth must make AT LEAST 4.5 GALLONS OF CHILI (1 18-quart roaster). If the booth would like to request to provide 2 roasters, please call our office;

• Chili must be served from a commercial warming/steamer or electric roaster. Crock Pots are not allowed;

• Use coolers lined with plastic food service bags to transport chili;

• YOU provide a SMALL ladle and chafing dish for your booth;

• YOU provide a commercial extension cord (about 50’);

• YOU provide Table decorations or skirting (optional but encouraged);

• YOU provide a 6’ – 8’ table;


• Each booth must display signage of the United Way logo (provided by United Way).


Health Requirements:

• If the food is not prepared in a kitchen that is licensed or inspected, a visible sign or place card must be posted that states: "These products are homemade and not subject to state inspection.”

• Each booth must post a sign stating the name of the person who prepared the meat and the address of where it was prepared. United Way will provide required signage.

• Chili shall reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F throughout before being served.

• An adult shall be responsible for the operation of the booth and shall supervise any minors working at the booth.

• All servers shall maintain their hands in a clean, sanitary condition and wash hands immediately after using the restroom, handling raw food, smoking or otherwise soiling their hands.

• All servers must wear aprons, gloves and effective hair restraints such as hairnets, headbands or caps.

• Servers must not use tobacco in any form while on duty.

What Is Provided:

• Small serving cups and spoons are provided by the United Way at the registration tables where people purchase tickets for event


Chili Timeline:

• 7:00 a.m. Set-up begins;

• 10:30 a.m. Chili must be heated to 150 degrees F or above;

• 11:00 a.m. Deadline to bring chili to the judges; and

• 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Chili is served to the public.

•  12:15 p.m. Deadline to vote for Community Choice Ballots


Chili must maintain 140 degrees F and above during the entire Chili Cook-Off


Award Information:

• Best Chili – Non-profit Division (prepared by a non-professional cook and a non-profit organization)

• Best Chili – Restaurant Division (prepared by a professional cook or establishment)

• Best Chili – Corporate Division (prepared by a corporation/business)

• Community Choice

• Best Booth

• Best Costume

Food vendors serving chili are invited to enter the Chili Cook-off Competition.  Vendors can compete in the “Non-Food Service Business/Organization” division or the “Restaurant/Caterer” division. Non-food vendors are not accepted.
A first, second, and third place is awarded in each division. Cash awards ranging from $100 to $300 will be presented to the winners during the festival. (The chili submitted for judging must be from the same pot you serve your customers.) Chili judging will take place at 3:00pm, Friday, October 8th on the main stage.  

All chili vendors will be provided with a “People’s Choice” bucket. This award is voted on by the people, $1 equals one vote. Festival attendees can vote for their favorite chili Friday and up to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. All proceeds from People's Choice will be donated to the Community Interfaith Food Pantry. All awards are announced at 5:00 pm on Saturday evening. 


NOTE: If you will be entering the Chili Cook-off Competition, your chili must be your own recipe.  No store-bought chili can be entered into the competition (the judges can tell the difference).  Chili can be made on-site or if making off-site can be reheated on-site.  Please follow all health codes with regard to preparing your chili. Click here for the current health code.


If you are a MOBILE FOOD VENDOR, the City of Belleville requires you to submit a separate application in addition to our entry application. If you have not previously applied for a license, you must do so to participate in the Chili Cook-off. This license is good for one year in Belleville. If you have a current license, please check your expiration date and renew if necessary. Any MOBILE FOOD VENDOR must have a valid license in their unit prior to set up.

  1. Each participant's chili will be distributed to the event guests, but only after an individual or team has submitted their chili to the judges.  SAYLA will provide bowls, spoons and napkins to the teams for distributing the chili to the event guests. 

  2. The Best Chili Award will be determined by the Judging Committee.  The People's Choice Award is determined by the public. The public will be entitled to taste each participant's chili.  It is up to each participant to entice the event guests to try their chili and cast their vote. The more chili a participant has and the more people who try that chili, the more votes that participant may get. The decisions of the judging committee are final.

  3. First Prize: $100.00, First Prize Certificate, public announcement at the event, email distribution to all of SAYLA membership regarding award, other public accolades and bragging rights.  People's Choice Award: $50.00, a People's Choice Certificate, public announcement at the event, email announcement to all of the SAYLA membership, other public accolades and bragging rights.  Winning individuals or teams will be asked at the event to give a brief description of their chili recipe (secret ingredients should remain secret though, of course).

  4. All contestants must provide their own heating apparatus, such as a hot plate, crockpot, camping stove or canned fuel (e.g., Sterno).  SAYLA will provide the staging area and extension cords.

  5. Judges will vote for the chili they like best based on the following major considerations: (a) Presentation and Color: The chili should look appetizing; (b) Aroma: The chili should smell good (this also indicates what is in store when tasted); (c) Consistency: The chili must have a good ratio between sauce and meat (it should not be dry, watery, grainy, lumpy, or greasy); (d) Taste: Taste, above all else is the most important factor (the taste should consist of the combination of the meat, spices, etc. with no particular ingredient being too dominant).

  6. Traditional Pepper Chili is defined as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with chili peppers, spices and other ingredients, with the exception of pasta, which is strictly forbidden.  Beans may be used in competition chili.  Competition chili must be made with one or a combination of beef, pork or turkey meat only (no venison).  Toppings of cheese, onion, cilantro, or others may be added for presentation.   

  7. The entry fee will be $25.00 per chili entered. Contestants may enter more than one batch of chili, and may enter as a team or individually.  Clever team names and chili names are encouraged.  As are costumes, for the bold.  Each Chili entry fee entitles one person to attend the event, but not the entire team—the remaining team members must pay the normal event entry fee. Register online at

  8. All ingredients must be pre-cooked and prepared prior to the event.  The chili is to be brought "ready-to-eat."

Those interested must complete our online entry form, that will be reviewed by Dandelion Gallery & Studio Management.  Vendors will be notified of opportunities.  Vendor Fees Vary: $35-$80.  Vendors are provided with a 5 ft Table, Two Chairs, 3 Table Easels.  Vendors may bring their own standing easels. Large displays require authorization. Display(s) must fit within designated space generally 10 X 10 in size.

Terms and Conditions

o   All artwork must be the original, handcrafted work of the displayed artist.

o   Buy/sell vendors are strictly prohibited. All items must be the original work of the artist and not mass-produced.

o   Vendors selling unacceptable items or items not approved ahead of time, will be asked to remove said items and/or vacate their space with no refund.

o   The Artists must be present the entire time of the show and agree to be open during all hours. If an artist leaves early, they will not be invited back.

o   Stations are not transferable and may not be shared with other exhibitors.

o   Artists are responsible for providing their own display that fits within a 10x10 space.

o   No tents allowed in the gallery. Displays cannot exceed no more than 7 Ft in height and must fit within station space. Please make necessary arrangements for your display.

o   No power or water is available at booth sites.

o   Culinary Artists must be licensed to sale all food items prepared in a licensed kitchen. All Food Vendors must be approved by the Health Department. Food Sanitation License and Additional Requirements to sale food required.

o   There is no reserved artist parking. Suggested parking is the parking lot on Water Street.

o   Wifi is available. Please bring your own equipment and electrical cords for device setup.   

o   Exhibitors are responsible for handling their sales, collecting and paying their own taxes.

o   Please ensure your items are secure and someone is available at your station at all times. Dandelion Gallery & Studio is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged items.

o   Artists are required to check-in during assigned time provided, and be set up and ready to go no later than the assigned time provided for the specific event..

o   Vendors are asked to check in to Dandelion Gallery & Studio on Facebook/Instagram to share with their followers.

o   Pictures and Video of Artists work displayed in the Gallery is restricted.

o   Exhibitors agree to allow the organizers of the event and any associates to use photos for marketing promotions.

o   Vendor cancellation: Cancellation must be given 14 days before to obtain a full refund or within specified terms. Cancellation with no notice due to a medical emergency, with written documentation from your physician, may be refunded.   

o   Dandelion Gallery & Studio reserve the right to remove any vendors from their space for not following the rules, regulations, terms and conditions set forth.

o   Vendors and Guests must respect the gallery, their station, and each other’s space at all times. Any form of violence, harassment, prejudice, harmful behavior will not be tolerated in our safe creative environment.

*** Must follow our code of conduct: Review Terms 

Let’s Work Together

Complete Entry Form for Consideration 

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