PITTSBURG — Do you make a mean Texas Firehouse chili? 

If so, the Little Balkans Chili Cook off group is looking for chili makers for one of the oldest chili cook offs in the area.  

The cook off will be during Little Balkans Days Festival on Aug. 31 at Lincoln Park. The event is through the Chili Appreciation Society International, an international chili appreciation society which sanctions chili cook offs across the world. 

To help spread the word, the Chair of the Little Balkans Chili Cook off Eric Rosenblad and his assistant Steve Shepherd will be at the Pittsburg Farmer’s Market to raise awareness of the competition and to give everyone a taste test of their chilis. Rosenblad and Shepherd will be at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. 

They will make a batch of chili for people to sample and chili recipes for people to take home. 

The primary focus of the cook off is to raise money for a charity, Habitat For Humanity, Rosenblad said. Competitors, however,  will have a chance to earn points toward competing at the CASI Terlingua ​International ​Chili Championship. 

“We have many regional cooks that will come but we also encourage some locals to throwing in their hand down to make some chili,” Rosenblad said. 

It’s all for fun, he said. 

And bragging rights. 

Amateur judges from the community will sample the competitors’ chili and decide which is the best. 

“It’s all fair and anonymous,” Rosenblad said. “It’s a great time.” 

There are some rules to follow, people can find out more about these by contacting Rosenblad. 

No beans allowed. 

“It’s a Texas thing,” Rosenblad said adding that to compete, the ingredients are meat, spices and red chili gravy. 

Want to compete?

People can contact Rosenblad at 620-404-8844 or email him at rosenblade@klsinc.org. Entry fee is $25. Junior cooks have free entry and will compete in the junior divisions. 

Not into chili? 

The group also hosts the State of Kansas Hot Wing Championship ($10) and Salsa contest ($10).

People can also come on by just to have a taste during Little Balkans Day Festivals. Habitat for Humanity will sell taster spoons for $3 while supplies last.