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Puerto Vallarta Chili Cookoff – The Latest Was The Greatest!

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – This year’s Puerto Vallarta Chili Cook-Off turned out to be a most successful event. Here are the results of the Cook-Off competition held this past February 17.

A lot of people have asked about how we conduct the chili voting. We do two separate versions: Popular and Professional. In the Popular Vote, everyone in attendance receive one ticket to vote for his or her favorite chili. If a particular entrant sells a lot of tickets and has a lot of followers, they stand a good chance of winning. It is a popularity contest, after all.

The professional part of the process is a completely blind judging process. The judges arrive at the Cook-Off and head to the judging tables without first visiting the chili booths. They are brought trays of chili with only the number of the chili they are judging visible, not the source.

The 2024 Judges:

  • Chef Apostolis Blougouras (Owner/Chef of Mykonos Greek Restaurant)
  • Jeffrey Mitchell (New York Chef & Owner/Chef of Creative Chef PV)
  • Hollis Harris (Was the Grillmaster/Pitmaster/Smoker King of El Rio BBQ)
  • Jessy Ruiz & Brent Lane (Jessy is the Host & Producer and Brent Lane is the Co-Host of Vallarta’s ASPHALT all-English radio show). These two judged together with their decision counting only as one vote.

Popular Vote:
1st Place Captain Don’s #4 – 136 votes
2nd Place Jay Sadler #16 – 66 votes
3rd Place Nacho Daddy #7 – 56 votes

Professional Vote:
1st Place Captain Don’s #4 – Score of 127
2nd Place Murphy’s #10 – Score of 112
3rd Place Nacho Daddy #7 – Score of 110

The public and the pros have been in agreement the past two Cook-Offs as the 1st place winners in each category have been the same. We feel that’s an indication the judging is a completely fair and honest process.

After all the setbacks in 2023 this year’s Cook-Off was a great success. Consider:

Attendance: 624. A 33% increase from last year.

Chili Chefs: 14. Two more than 2023 (and we did have 4 late cancellations)

Vendor profits: Increased 25%. This result has a direct effect on the Cook-Off’s overall receipts as each vendor donates 25% of their intake back to the Cook-Off.

Event Profit: $230,000 (pesos). The highest in 4 years! We were able to achieve this even though prices (attendance, drinks, food) have remained stable over the past five years. Our entry ticket prices (both General Admission and Reserved) are the lowest in the area for a comparable event – where else can you get so much free food and entertainment for less?

The Charities We Support: A portion of the funds raised at the Chili Cook-Off will go to Toys for Tots Puerto Vallarta to allow them to purchase more toys and serve even more under-served communities in the Bay of Banderas area. This past January hundreds of toys were handed out at schools throughout the area.

The Jay Sadler Project A.C. is a recognized Jalisco-based non-profit organization. They provide necessary resources to improve various institutions in the Banderas Bay area and Puerto Vallarta. These include Day Care Centers, Public Schools in rural areas, and other private charitable institutions. Funds from the Puerto Vallarta Chili Cook-Off allow them to do more projects in more deserving communities.

Thank you to each and every one of you in making this year’s Chili Cook-Off a success!

We’ve already secured the date (February 22) for next year’s Chili Cook-Off, again at Salón Rancho Alegre. You may keep up-to-date with all things Chili Cook-Off at pvchilicookoff.com.

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