7th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff


Friendship CircleChabad OutreachChai Learning Center of West Houston team accepting their 2nd place

Friendship CircleChabad OutreachChai Learning Center of West Houston team accepting their 2nd place

Rabbi Marinovsky and Rabbi Yaghobian

Rabbi Marinovsky and Rabbi Yaghobian

Photo Credit: Dr. David Cotlar

The 7th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff raised a record breaking amount for its charities on Sunday, February 26, 2017 with the help of over 3,000 cookoff attendees. 34 local organizations and businesses fired up the competition during the 7th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff with their unique kosher chili recipes to benefit the seven local Jewish Day Schools and the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center's Meals on Wheels Program. 

The cookoff gathered the Houston Jewish community on a beautiful, sunny day to enjoy live music, a moonwalk, an obstacle course, balloon artists and face painting all while sampling some of Houston's best kosher chili. The primary purpose of the cookoff is to provide and maintain a low cost family-friendly community event for all regardless of affiliation.

Attendees also spiced up the event with bids on silent auction items and raffles during the sets of several local live entertainment acts. The event began with The Danny Gavin Band, followed by the Houston's Young Kletzmer Band. The cookoff ended with celebrity and media food judges announcing winners from the 34 sampled kosher chili recipe entries received throughout the cookoff.

The coveted best chili and first place award was presented to the Aishel House "Holy Chili Peppers" team.

Following up closely behind, the Friendship Circle/Chabad Outreach/Chai Learning Center of West Houston team received second place and the Congregation Emanu El Boy Scout Troop 1190 team finished third. The Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services team won the Showmanship Award and the Greene Family Camp received the People's Choice Award. All winning teams were presented with trophies.

Celebrity and media judges included Al Farb from The New 93Q Country; Albert Nurick from HTown Chowdown; Amber Elliott from the Houston Chronicle; Barbara Levine from Small Business Today Magazine; Courtney Bond from Texas Monthly; Houston City Council Member Ellen Cohen District C; Ernie Manouse of PBS; Hank Lewis from HankonFood.com; Jack Cagle of Harris County Precinct 4; radio and television personality Lanny Griffith; Houston City Council Member Larry GreenDistrict K; Phaedra Cook from Houston Food Finder; Ruchi Mukerjee of Lights, Camera, Action; Sir McMillen from The Chile Pepper Magazine; Ted Powers from The Jewish Herald Voice; Tom Flynn from HTexas Magazine; and Valerie Sweeten from Hot in Houston Now.

This event was made possible with the support of Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center and its staff alongside sponsors Mostyn Law Firm, National Prosperity Insurance, Aqua General, Jim Adler, Kenny & Ziggy's, Monty & Ramirez, LLP, Proguard Self Storage, Stein Family/Triple S Steel, Copy.com,HKA (Houston Kashrus Association), Interra Capital Group/Dunhill, JGR Computer Services, Kind Bars, Mehadrin Kosher of Texas, Nationwide Insurance/Slater Insurance Agency, St. Arnold's Brewery and many more. 


About The Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff:

The Kosher Chili Cookoff is the largest kosher food event in Houston and takes place on a Sunday in late February or early March, unless there is a conflict with Purim, at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center (ERJCC) from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. The Kosher Chili Cookoff's mission is to bring the Jewish Community together for a low cost day of food, fun and festivities as well as to raise funds for important non-profit organizations in the Houston Jewish Community. The 2018 event is Sunday, February 25.


Proceeds from the 2017 event benefitted seven local Jewish Day Schools and the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center's Meals on Wheels. For more information please visit  www.houstonkosherchilicookoff.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.