Volunteers & Judges


An event like the Pendery’s Charity Chili Cook-Off could never happen without a LOT of volunteers. Everyone that works with us is a volunteer, there are no paid positions. We all volunteer to help make our community a better place. There is a lot of satisfaction that comes from volunteering to make an event like this a reality. You will make new friends and meet new people, share your knowledge, do something new and different and most of all have a lot of fun!


There are a lot of different tasks that need to be done. Some are small and some are large. However much time you have, we appreciate it. If you have just a day to give that is great and if you have more time to devote to a larger project, that of course is great too. We have several areas that can always use more help. Some of the areas that you can volunteer for are: planning, promotional / marketing, set up, clean up, material sourcing, runners, registration table, logistics and ground planning, judging and more!  We are also in need of experienced cooks to help teach Chili 101!


We also need Judges for the cookoff. Over 100 actually! Crazy, I know, but we expect about 75 entries so far. For those who attended last year, this event will be about twice as big!  For those interested in being a judge: There are two divisions to the Cookoff and the following are the times for the Judges’ Meetings:

CASI/Tolbert Chili-12:00

ICS Salsa-11:30
ICS Verde Chili-12:30
ICS Red Chili-1:30 – Help Judge the biggest payout for Chili in the State of Texas!

Come out and pay us a visit, enjoy the Chili, BBQ Lunch and of course the Lost Coyote Band. They will start playing about 12:30, and the Dallas Police’s Competition BBQ Team will be serving lunch at noon.

If you would like to volunteer, teach Chili 101, be a Judge or would just like some more information please let us know.



A note from Chili John for ICS Judges

“Hey ICS Chili Judge — CONGRATULATIONS! You are about to enter the elite group of men and women who have become judges at a state level International Chili Society Chili Cook-Off, and survived.

 You can judge ICS salsa, ICS verde (green) chili, and ICS red chili. I invite you to do all three, but if you can only do one or two, that is OK.

 We will have a judges’ meeting 15 minutes before turn-in for each category: Salsa judging meeting – 11:45 a.m., Green Chili judging meeting – 12:45 p.m., Red Chili judging meeting – 1:45 p.m.

 Please check in at the ICS registration table when you arrive at the cook-off site at SMU.

 Now, a few suggestions from chief judge ChiliJohn Fenrich. I have been organizing district, state and regional ICS chili cook-offs for some 40 years in 6 different states, and my winners have consistently done very well at the ICS World Championship Chili Cook-Off.

  • The ICS cooks are coming from all over the U.S., not just Texas. They are serious about qualifying to compete at the World Cook-Off and have invested a lot of time and $$$$$ to get to Texas to compete.
  • So, I ask that you follow my instructions. 1. Once we get the judging sheets, pencils in hand and go to the table where the ICS Judging Cups are placed, there is no talking or communicating. 2. The first time around the table it is best to just mark each bowl number on the judging sheet with a + or – indicating which ones you want to revisit. 3. We go counter-clockwise around the table. You can start anywhere on the table, just be sure you know which bowl number you are starting at. 4. Only one spoon per taste, even if you are going to retaste the same chili. ALWAYS toss your spoon in the box under the table and take a new spoon. 5. Again, no talking, no grimacing, no spitting… you get the picture. 6. Take your time to be sure what your top 3 choices are, but don’t dwaddle, We need to clear the tables and get ready for the next judging. 7. Keep your comments that you write down “nice”…the cooks will be reading your comments and they don’t need to be told that what they turned in tasted like “poop” or something worse. Stick to “too salty,” “not enough heat”, “too much cumin”, etc. 8. I always suggest you write your winners down somewhere so you can see if you picked the over-all winners when the announcement comes at the end of the cook-off, I always give the table number of the winners.
  • AND MOST IMPORTANT —- HAVE FUN! If you have any questions when the judging begins, I will be there to answer them.
  • I have seen the names of some of those who will be competing and you will be judging some of the best chili ever cooked, ever, anywhere…so come prepared to be challenged.

If you have any questions before the cook-off, do not hesitate to contact me at johnfenrich@att.net or call me at 918-609-6211.

Looking forward to meeting you and having a successful and fun cook-off at SMU…what we want most is for our winners to become the 2017 ICS World Champions.

 Chiliheads forever,

 ChiliJohn Fenrich”