Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

West Chester’s 20th Annual Chili Cook-Off 2022 Rotary Club hosted its first competition on Sunday Oct. 9 since 2019. 

This popular event encourages a bunch of vendors around Chester County to sell and promote themselves while others compete against one another in the Chili competition. This is also a chance for people to donate to the Rotary Club which is an organization that helps keep the parks clean and does community outreach. 

All of this took place at Downtown West Chester, mainly on Gay St. and Market St. 

The special occasion opened at 10:30 a.m., but did not start until 12 p.m.  

According to Brielle Parker, one of the customers who attended the event, “you can smell the chili across the street and watch the cooks as they make them as it opens at 10:30.” 

There were art vendors, homemade jewelry and a few schools represented themselves as a way to get involved with the community. Even a kid zone with bouncy houses and ball pits were there to entertain the children. 

The band, “The Swing Kings,” and the “Graystone Ramblers,” also made an appearance where they performed music by Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan as a way to entertain guests even further. 

“It’s a great way to connect the community and solidarity during these times and it was amazing to see people laughing and having a good time,” said Parker. 

A few of the places that competed were Ryan’s Pub, Stove and Tap, Parrot Troopers, Kildare’s Irish Pub and more. 

The whole contest was based on people’s choice and even local businesses could get involved with making the dishes. It was not just restaurants. 

Arthur Hall Insurance served “Fire In The Hall Chili,” as a sort of pun as well as Kildare’s Irish Pub that provided “It’s Always Chili In Boston.”  

As specified by the West Chester Chili Cook Off website it states, “On the 2nd Sunday of October the streets of Downtown West Chester close for a day of food, fun and philanthropy. 70+ chili teams, comprised of restaurants, businesses, hometown cooks and non-profit organizations, set up shop right on the street and cook chili vying for the coveted People’s Choice Award. As the streets fill with the aroma of perfectly seasoned meat and beans thousands of hungry chili fans arrive to shop the amazing array of artisan vendors, visit the kid zone with their families, stop in to the local bars for a brew and most importantly sample all the chili they can eat and cast their vote for the winning recipe. As the day draws to a close and the votes are counted one lucky team is crowned the winner and in addition to bragging rights receives a cash prize of $1,000.”  

The website also states, “This event that brings families and folks from all over the greater Philadelphia region does so much more than provide a festive way to fill a Sunday afternoon. All the proceeds from that day benefit the good works of the Rotary Club of West Chester whose motto is, “Service Above Self.” Since the West Chester Chili Cook-Off began back in 2002 the Rotary Club of West Chester has raised almost half a million dollars which they have used to do good in the community and world. They have provided thousands of dollars in grants to local nonprofits, purchased over 2,000 winter coats for local kids in need, supported our troops with care packages, and provided opportunities for physically disabled children to have life altering medical procedures. It’s amazing how one street festival can do so much to change the world for the better.” 

“My favorite Chili was Ryan’s Pub since it was spicy, and it had the right proportion of chili and meat. I was actually the very first one to vote for them,” said Parker. 


2022 Winners: 


  • Parrot Troopers – “Luck O’ the Parrot Chili”



  • Ryan’s Pub – “Ryan’s Galway Chili”
  • Stove & Tap – “Kevin’s Famous Chili”
  • Kildare’s Irish Pub – “It’s Always Chili In Boston”



  • Arthur Hall Insurance – “Fire In The Hall”
  • Dana Marie Events, LLC – “Meat Bouquet Chili”
  • Village Optical – “Spicy Specs”



  • Church Farm School – “Scrapplelicious Church Farm Chili”
  • MASONIC LODGE #322 – “Hiram’s Chili”
  • West Chester Friends School – “Quaker Spices Chili”



  • Hammacher and Schlemmer – “Who is Barry Badrinath?” Bratwurst Chili
  • FBG Chili Team – “Chili – hurts so good!”
  • Parrot Troopers – “Luck O’ the Parrot Chili”

Sean Wattman is a second-year Psychology major with a minor in Journalism.

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