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The Good Markets Chili Cook-Off: Because It's Texas, and It's Chili

In Texas, a good bowl of chili is practically currency. It's a way to warm up on a cold day, works well in fried applications and over Fritos, and can occasionally help mothers keep their delinquent children coming back home. Chili is certainly important in Texas, and the good people behind Good Local Markets (formerly White Rock Local Market and others) have come up with another way for this Texas staple dish to be engrained into our lives -- by helping us show up our neighbors.

When Good Local Market was still White Rock Local Market, the chili cookoffs were nothing short of legendary. Despite the name change, the newly rebranded farmers market will still host the same competition that Lakewood residents learned to love this year on April 19. Be prepared to bring your A Game, though -- these chili aficionados don't play. Whether your top-secret recipe is traditional, spicy, vegetarian, or more of a "wild card," it had better be legit.

Brian Luscher, owner of Luscher's and The Grape, will judge alongside D Magazine editor Tim Rogers and Dallas City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates. All three of these judges are known for an inability (or unwillingness) to pull punches, so we're sure that they'll be judging the chilis vying for the title with supreme scrutiny. It's a supposedly a "friendly competition," but there are neighborhood bragging rights at stake here, people.

If you think your chili is good enough to contend, you can team up with other chiliheads and enter your recipe for just $25 via this online form. Proceeds from entry fees go toward Good Local Market, a nonprofit organization. The judging will be held in the parking lot of Half Price Books' flagship store on April 19, just in case you need to pick up a few cookbooks when your chili loses to that woman that you don't like in the after school pick-up line.

If you're more of a chili eater than chef, you might still be interested in attending the 5th Annual Good Local Markets Chili Showdown. From 1-3 p.m. on April 19, 20 of the best teams will offer up samples of their recipes for a public tasting, and you can try each one with the purchase of a $5 ticket. If your chili recipe needs another year of refining, this could be a great way to check out the competition. Or just eat a bunch of chili and help out a local community market for only $5.

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Amy McCarthy