For thirty-three years Dave Hipskind has dreamed of being World Champion of the International Chili Society (ICS) World's Championship Chili Cookoff (WCCC). Along the way Dave's wife, Kathy was crowned Red Chili Champion of the ICS WCCC in 2004.
In chasing their somewhat elusive mission to become Champions, Dave & Kathy realized their fellow ICS competitors had become a second family. Each cookoff is like a family reunion. ICS competitors develop a special bond and friendship competing over the years. They share family life experiences and watch as families change and grow. They talk about their highs and lows, but most of all they talk about CHILI. As competitors, they change their recipes, their spices and other ingredients. They adjust and tweak, all in an attempt at perfecting their bowl of chili. Dave's perseverance paid off October 18th when he won the 2015 ICS World's Championship Chili Cookoff at the spectacular Grand Sierra Resort in Reno Nevada.
Dave has competed in hundreds of ICS Chili cookoffs, initially cooking as a team with Kathy. They won their 1st cookoff at the Reno Rodeo back in 1982. Following their first taste of victory, they won the 1983 California State Cookoff at the Balboa Bay Club. In those early years, it seemed they could do no wrong, winning numerous cookoffs. However, like most couples, there always seems to be a difference of opinion on how to cook the best chili. So they decided to go head-to-head and see who made the better chili. In 1993, Dave got his first ticket to the WCCC by winning the Washington State Championship. Besides numerous district cookoffs, he has won High Sierra Regional (4 times), Nevada Capital Regional (2 times), Laughlin Regional, and was 4th place in the 2001 WCCC. Dave became more involved with ICS in 1984 and began producing and organizing Regional and District cookoffs. Some of the charities and non-profits benefitting from is efforts include Ernie Bodai's Cure Breast Cancer, Elk Grove Old Town Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Hospice, Boy Scouts of America, Rotary, Veterans groups, Shiner's Hospital for Children, Lupus Foundation, several local food banks, and many other local charities.
Dave & Kathy are the owners of The Red Door Antiques, Vintage & More in Old Town Elk Grove, CA. Dave has become very active in the local business community. For the past 7 years, he has organized and produced the Old Town Elk Grove Chili Festival. It has become one of the premier events in Old Town, attracting thousands of visitors every year. In addition, as a member of the Old Town Elk Grove Foundation, he has assisted in many other events throughout the year, such as the Annual Holiday Dickens Faire, Vintage Trailer Show and Antique Flea Market. The Red Door Antiques continues to grow and expand, more than doubling their original size. 2015 has been an extremely busy year for Dave. Along with running The Red Door Antiques, he agreed to Chief Judge a number of cookoffs, reducing the number of chances to qualify for WCCC2015. While always finishing near the top of each cookoff he competed in, Dave never qualified to cook in 2015 WCCC. So, he joined 47 other cooks at the 2015 "Last Chance" Cookoff. He qualified along with 9 other contestants for one of the coveted ten final spots to cook a traditional "bowl of red". However, he was not completely satisfied with his chili at "Last Chance" and made a couple adjustments that turned an excellent chili into a Worlds Champion Chili.
Dave has acted as chief judge for many ICS sanctioned cookoffs including the World's Championship Chili Cookoff. He has helped hundreds of members get their start with the ICS and is always willing to lend a hand. Dave will be organizing and producing his Old Town Elk Gove Chili Fest on May 21st of 2016.