Press Kit

16th Annual North Conway Chili Cookoff promises to be biggest ever

Hot news from the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce – February 26, 2019

Contact:  Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331,

16th Annual North Conway Chili Cookoff features kid’s chef division, farm fresh ingredients, soup & ice cream samplings

Red hot deals offered throughout the community too

North Conway, NH –It may still be chilly in North Conway but the chili will be hot-hot-hot for the 16th Annual North Conway Chili Cookoff, scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 11:00am to 3:00pm at the North Conway Community Center.  Professional and non-professional chefs along with… new this year… kids, will bring their best so come hungry and ready to enjoy various kinds of chili, cornbread, and more.  Contestants are being encouraged to use at least one ingredient from local farms. For those who’d prefer a taste of soup, samplings will be available, and Trail’s End Ice Cream will be on hand selling an alternative to hot chili. Music will be provided by Wildcat Tavern.  Presented by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, the 16th Annual North Conway Chili Festival promises to be the biggest ever. 

Chili Cookoff tickets are  $15 for adults, $7 children 12 & under, and ages 4 & under free. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.

All Professional Chef chili entries will be judged by Nationally Approved Culinary Evaluators headed by Bryant Alden, Chef from the Wildcat Tavern in Jackson. Additional judges include Chef Gary Sheldon from the Bernerhof Inn, Susan Laughlin, Food Editor for New Hampshire Magazine and Keith Lemerise from Taste of Seacoast Magazine. Judged awards are given for Best Meat Chili, Best Vegetarian Chili and Best Cornbread, with first, second and third places acknowledged. Non-professional Chefs, and Kid Chefs will be awarded People’s Choice Award for Best Meat and Best Vegetarian Chili selected by all tasters who attend the Chili Cookoff. Both categories will also vie for the Best Display prizes too.  The first ten non-profits to enter will receive a $25 Hannaford gift card to help with ingredient purchases. With limited space, professional and non-professional chefs are encouraged to submit their registration as soon as possible. 

New this year, a Kid Chef division has been added.  Six teams of Kid Chefs, ages 9 to 17, may be supported by school organizations or businesses, and should include one adult mentor.  The Kid Chef division is sponsored by Sea Dog Brewing Company, which covers the entry fee.

The Mt. Washington Valley Eaters & Growers invites each chili chef to raise the bar in the 2019 Chili Cookoff by committing to purchasing at least one ingredient from a local farm. The Mt Washington Valley region has some of the nation’s most fertile soils and many farm-fresh items are available year-round.

The cookoff will be accompanied by a stroll through North Conway Village where participating businesses will be offering a variety of value-added promotions for those enjoying the tour along the “Red Hot Stops” Route. Be sure to pick up your map with your ticket. The chili cookoff kicks-off the spring foodie events that highlight the Spring season in Mt Washington Valley, NH.

Just to get the appetite ready, a Spring Run-off 5k, 10k Race, plus Kids Fun Run and Toddler Dash organized by Rock Hopper Races will start and end in Schouler Park at 9:00am.  Entry to the race includes admission to the Chili Cookoff.  A portion of the race proceeds will be donated to the development of the Conway Rec Path.  Pre-register online at

In addition, run off some steam during the Chili Cookoff in Schouler Park with Knockerball North Conway. This activity will offer a special discount for the day in honor of the Chili Cookoff.  Then at the end of the day, chefs and chili-tasters will gather at Abenaki Trail Restaurant & Pub at 4:00pm for the awards party.

The 16th Annual North Conway Chili Cookoff is presented by the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Additional sponsors include Eastern Propane & Oil, Chalmers Insurance Group, and North Conway Village Association.  The Kids Chef division is sponsored by Sea Dog Brewing Company; supporting sponsors include TD Bank and Story Land. In-kind sponsors include Abenaki Trail Restaurant & Pub, Cabot Creamery, Green Thumb Farms, Hannaford, Monkey Trucks, Wildcat Tavern, Cormack Construction and Green Granite Inn.

There’s still room for both professional, non-professional and Kid chefs to register for the Chili Cook Off.  Contact the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce in North Conway Village or learn more online at

With so much going on, why not make a weekend of it?  Plan a chili-filled weekend by visiting for all the trip planning resources you need or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH). To learn more about visiting New Hampshire, visit

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Additional photos available online at the Mt Washington Valley Flickr Photo Gallery.