Where better to have the self-proclaimed “Largest Kosher Chili Event Anywhere” than in Texas? The Lone Star state takes matters of both size and chili very seriously–and that apparently extends to its Jews.
Last week saw the annual Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-Off. Begun in the 90’s with 12 teams and 600 attendees, this year it featured 50 teams and over 4,000 attendees, according to the Jewish Daily Forward.
The event prides itself on bringing together the often fractious Jewish community.
“We have the Democrats, we have the Republicans, from the nonaffiliated all the way through the black hats,” said one organizer.
The event is strictly kosher. Participants must attended mandatory kashrut classes, use only certified ingredients, and cook only at the event using provided equipment.
An “army” of masgichim assure compliance.
Top honors went to Camp Young Judea/Tel Yehudah, but it seems like competition itself comes second at the cook off. In addition to camaraderie, proceeds benefit the hosting congregation Tiferet Israel and local charities. This year, that included the Bnai Zion Foundation, a humanitarian group; the Fighting Maccabees Jewish Special Olympics team; and the Veterans Recovery Center of the Dallas VA Medical Center.