Press Kit

The North Conway Chili Cookoff Takes a Hiatus

News from Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce – January 16, 2020
Contact: Michelle Cruz,

North Conway, NH – For almost twenty years the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce has been presenting one of the tastiest foodie events of the year, the North Conway Chili Cookoff. Each year chili has been dished out from several professional and non-professional chefs, and most recently kid chefs. Restaurants had an opportunity to show off their skills and win the taste buds of many, while several non-profits had the opportunity to share their mission over some award-winning chili.

This event has seen thousands of tickets holders over the past years interested in getting their fill of delicious samples of chili and cornbread as well as find out who’s the best in the valley. “It’s been a fun, family friendly, light-hearted event that our staff loves being a part of each year,” said Janice Crawford, Executive Director of the MWV Chamber of Commerce. “After almost twenty years, we feel like this may be a good time to put the event on hold and come back with renewed energy in 2021.”

Over the more recent years this event has faced some challenges, which includes less participation from restaurants due to their own challenges with lack of staff. This is something that many businesses in the Valley are dealing with and now we have an example of how it impacts events. Another reason why the efforts of the MWV Housing Coalition and Victoria Laracy are appreciated.

“We’d love to see more participation in this event, knowing the value that it brings to businesses in the Mt. Washington Valley,” said Michelle Cruz, MWV Chamber of Commerce Community Engagement manager, “whether a restaurant, a food retailer, or artisan, this event offers great exposure to locals and visitors in the Valley and I think Dave Hausman, owner of Big Dave’s Bagels & Deli says it best, ‘…it is vital that we step out of our shops on occasion, to remember the charm of living in our beautiful valley. It is my strong opinion that the Chamber’s Chili Cook Off is a great way to do just that. It is an opportunity to promote our businesses in a much warmer and more intimate way than while we are working. It has always been a great day for me, win or lose, as there is never a loser in the building.”

Part of hitting the refresh button for this event will include the date of the event. In previous years the event was held in February and eventually moved to April. The idea was to build the Spring season that is a slower time of year for most businesses in the Valley.

In addition to the cookoff competition, this event included a component called, Red Hot Stops. Businesses in the North Conway Village had the opportunity to promote their business by providing a special offer for all Chili Cookoff ticket holders. A map of North Conway including the participating businesses and their special offers were provided to attendees, encouraging them to explore the North Conway Village and all it has to offer.

To keep the spirit alive, a smaller chili cook-off event will take place during the White Mountain Outdoor
Fest in June. Five of the top North Conway Chili Cookoff winners will be invited to compete for the Best
of the Best. This will be a People’s Choice Award, and to fit with the theme of the White Mountain
Outdoor Fest, chefs will be asked to prepare a chili conducive to high performance by an athlete.
“We are grateful for our faithful sponsors Chalmers Insurance Group, Eastern Propane and Oil, TD Bank,
Sea Dog Brewing Company, Coca-Cola, Story Land and the partnership of the Gibson Center, North
Conway Community Center and Abenaki Trails Restaurant and Pub as the location for the event and
many others who helped to make the North Conway Chili Cookoff such a success over the years.