Names such as "Afterburn," "Chili Chili Bang Bang," "Happy Ending Sauce," "Hunks of Burnin' Love" and "Notorious P.I.G.," reflect the culture of a chili cook-off with humor. Many cook-offs have names that mirror the criteria the food is judged on, including aroma, consistency, taste, aftertaste and color.
Cook-off names might indicate what ingredients contestants use, with variations including "No Bull, All Buffalo," "Hot Meat and Cool Beans," "Mr. Beefy's Revenge," and "To Bean or Not to Bean?" Other names add a twist to familiar titles, such as "Unicorn's Last Supper" and "Red Hot Chili Preppers."
If planning a chili cook-off, consider making name tags for each dish along with a rating scale to indicate the food's spiciness. Developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, the Scoville Scale is a way to measure the spice and intensity of chili peppers. Next to the table with entries, post a picture of the scale so that contestants can rate the level of heat in their own chili, with a sweet bell pepper being the most mild flavored spice, and the spiciest being the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga.
Provide a mixture of drinks and refreshing side dishes, such as green and fruit salads, to balance out the chili offerings. Prior to eating any chili as a meal, have guests try a spoonful of each flavor, rate it, and clean their palate with a bland cracker or sip of water.