TIVCC Verde CCO Rules & Info

Established in 2016, the Terlingua International Verde Chili Cook Off raises money for charity by "Turning it Green!".  You don't have to qualify to cook at the TIVCCO - the cook off is open to anyone 18 and over.  It is held the Thursday before the Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook Off that takes place the 1st Saturday in November Behind the Store.  Since our fiirst cook off held in 2016 the TIVCCO has raised over $4000 that has been added to the funds the OTICCC donates to ALS Research.  There is no fee to hold a TIVCCO affiliated cook off and you are free to donate money made from the cook off to the charitable organization of your choice.  Please take a moment to read thorugh the rules paying particular attention to what ingredients are allowed.  We enourage you to hold a Verde cook off by itself or with another competition cook off so that more and more cooks can "Turn it Green!".  If you have any questions, contact Kelly Brignon via kelly@mildbillsspices.com   

Viva Terlingua!


  1. Rules for Verde Competition
      1. Head Cook or designee must register (name, address, & email) at cook off headquarters
      2. Head Cook will receive their judging cup and initial for receipt at Registration. Remove the numbered ticket from the cup, write your name on the back and keep in a safe place. Winners will be announced by the number and it must be presented to claim the award.
  • Cooks must not “mark” cup in any way. If cup is damaged, a replacement can be obtained by turning in damaged cup and numbered ticket.
  1. Cooks must be at least 18 Years Old to enter the cookoff.
  1. Preparing Chili
    1. Chili must be cooked on site the day of the cookoff from scratch. “Scratch” means starting with raw meat and using regular spices. Commercial Chili Powder is Permissible, but complete commercial chili mixes are NOT permitted.
    2. Chili must be prepared in the open in as sanitary a manner as possible.
  • Chili Verde is the combination of any kind of meats cooked with green chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. NO POTATOES, BEANS, PASTA, GARNISH, or similar items are allowed.
  1. No ingredients may be precooked in any other way prior to the cook off. The only exceptions are canned / bottled tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, pepper sauce, broth & grinding and or mixing of spices.
  2. Meat may be pre-cut or Ground. No one meat is preferred over the other. MEAT CAN NOT BE PRE COOKED, in any manner. All other items must be cut / chopped or prepared at the cook off.
  3. The Head Cook must prepare the chili to be judged.
  1. Turning in Chili
    1. No More than One Judging Sample can be taken from any on pot.
    2. Each Cook may turn in only one cup chili.
  • At turn-in time, fill you cup ¾ full (or leave at least 1-inch head space) and take it to the Cookoff Headquarters. DO NOT BE LATE.
  1. Your chili will be judged on Appearance, Aroma and Taste.
  1. Frank X Tolbert Secret Judging Procedure
    1. Judging Cups
      1. Use Identical Cups (16-24 oz. Styrofoam) with lids and numbered tickets attached with tape to the outside of the cup, with a correspondingly numbered ticket placed either inside the cup or if using double tickets, tape down one ticket where the second one can be torn off by the cook (Be watchful that the side of the ticket with the number is not the side applied to the tape.) Note: Judging cups FOR the Terlingua Championship will be 32 oz.
      2. Cups should not be kept in any order. Always make extra cups.
    2. Turn-In and Judging Number Procedure
      1. As Cups are turned in for judging, have workers collect the cups in large containers,
      2. The containers are then taken to a different set of workers who will randomly move the cups, one at a time, and using a permanent marker will mark the cup with a Table Letter and Number. (Example: 45 Cook; 3 Preliminary Judging Tables – A, B, & C; therefore, cups are marked A-1 thru A-15, B-1 thru B-15, & C-1 thru C-15.) Continue the process until all cups turned in are properly marked and taken to the appropriate judging tables.
  1. Outside Judging Number should be changed at each stage of judging – Use a different color marker at each round of judging.
  1. Judging Procedure
    1. Judging Sheets should be numbered 1 to 25 or more, down the side with space for the judges score. An official judging sheet with general rules is included with the cook off packet.
    2. Judging will be done using preliminary and final judges, and when necessary, semi-final. When there are 20 or less Chilies to be judged at a cook off, it is permissible to eliminate the preliminary judging stage and proceed to final table judging.
  • It is permissible to draw a portion of the Preliminary Judges from head cooks or other cooking team members. This should be done by using a random drawing rather than pre -selection or a “sign-up to judge” list. Judges shall be at least 18 years old. Each table should have at least 5 judges. Odd Number of Judges at each table.
  1. Final and Semi-Final shall not have been judges in the preliminaries. Final Table judges shall not be associated with any cook at that given cook off and shall abstain from tasting any chili prior to judging. A suggested number of Final Tables Judges is 9 or more, but no less than 5. Odd number of Judges.
  2. In Judging, a minimum of four chilis must come off each preliminary table (preferably one half of the chilis on the table) and go to final table judging. In large cook offs, when this creates to many chilies on final tables, semifinal tables should be used. Judging should be divided among the tables so the final table will end up with preferable no more than 21 chilies, but no less the 15.
  3. Each Table should have a table monitor to control the movement of the cups and answer questions. Refer to the Table Monitor Instruction in the Cook Off Packet. Discussion of the Chilies will not be permitted. Any questions as to disqualification of a chili will be directed to the referee by the table monitor for a final decision.
  • One score takes into consideration all criteria for scoring chili: The criteria being Aroma, Consistency, Taste, After Taste, & Green Color. Each Cup is scored on its own merits from 1 to 10; 10 being the highest & 1 being the worst. Each Judge must give a score to each cup of chili.