Stepping Back In Time
Looking back at a history in the making, there are so many people to thank. It would be impossible to name everyone. Carroll Shelby must be named first and foremost for his vision, charitable conscience, and love of having a good time! Shelby was one of the original men in the group of guys that cooked for fun in 1967. We now know him as our founder, the first CEO, and the father of ICS!
We must also recognize Carol Hancock who became the second CEO after Shelby personally chose her to carry on the legacy. We are forever grateful to her for her 17 years of dedication and love for the ICS.
A special thanks to each and every sponsor, current and throughout the years, who make it possible for ICS to exist.
Announcing the 53rd Annual ICS World Championship Chili Cook-off® will be held in Des Moines, Iowa at The District at Prairie Trail from September 6-8, 2019.
A new ICS-sanctioned chili category is added – Veggie Chili!
ICS retires the Salsa category.
Carol Hancock retires her role as ICS President and CEO to Scott Toland.
ICS celebrated its 50TH Anniversary!!!
For the first time in ICS history, a competitor won the World Champion title two years in a row! Bob Plager won again against 131 other first place red chili competitors from around the country
Bob Plager took home the title for RED and shocked everyone as the recipe called for PRUNES!
First year of the Homestyle category at the World’s Championship. Tom Pardikes from Plymouth, Michigan took home the title of World Champion!
The world mourns the passing of Carrol Shelby. We not only remember him for his contribution to the world of championship car racing, design in the automotive industry and the Carrol Shelby Childrens’ Foundation, but [to thousands of chiliheads] he will be remembered as the father of the International Chili Society.
WCCC is held east of the Mississippi River for the first time in 43 years in Charleston, West Virginia
Carol Shelby announced that due to his advancing age and health, Carol Hancock would become the new CEO and owner of the International Chili Society
Willie Nelson and his family played two sold-out shows
Filmed by The Food Network for the second time (Their first filming of the WCCC was in 2001)
Arguably one of the largest World Championships With 343 cooks and the largest number of spectators to date
First year of the Chili Verde category at the World’s Championship. Joe Barrett from Lake Arrowhead California took home the champion title!
ICS Offices and operations were moved to Las Vegas, the new home of Shelby American and the Las Vegas Speedway
Chef Paul Prudhomme attended the three-day Championship Cook-off leading a cooking demonstration Thursday evening, a gourmet dinner on Friday, and judging the "final" table on Sunday.
Celebrated our 30th Anniversary!
Santos Menchaca took the honors of the first World’s Salsa Champion
The World Championship Chili Cook-off is now a three-day festival with over 100 participating vendors
Good Morning America opened their show from the main stage
The ICS made a trip across America with the Red Cross to raise money and to build awareness of the bill to make chili America’s official food
An estimated 50,000 people attended the Championship this year
The festival included food vendors, arts & crafts, microbreweries, and live music
Reno, Nevada the "biggest little city in the world" became the location of The World's Championship Chili Cook-off- now a two-day festival for the first time!
Chili Cook-offs have become major fundraisers around the world. ICS announced that an estimated fifty million dollars had been raised from sanctioned cook-offs
Chiliheads around the world mourned the passing of ICS Co-Founder C.V. Wood, Jr.
Carroll Shelby drove the pace car, Chrysler's Viper, at the Indy 500
Dawn Dishwashing Soap staged a World's Championship Dishwashing Contest. First price was a $15,000 Dream Kitchen
Hope and Monty Spuregon exchanged vows on the main stage in front of 20,000 people and on national television- the first marriage ever held at the World's Championship!
Carroll Shelby termed the World Championship Chili Cook-off as an "Adult Woodstock"
A tradition started at the 20th Annual World Championship as Tom Deemer and Bill Ray (former ICS Governors) led the crowd in "God Bless America" to officially start each cook-off
63 judges tasted for one hour and fifteen minutes before declaring Carol Hancock as the World Champion. Her chili was named "Shotgun Willie Chili" after singer Willie Nelson, who was a friend of Hancock
On February 2, Manuel J. Lujan, Jr., Congressman (R-NM) introduced a bill "House Joint Resolution 465" to provide for the designation of Chili as The Official Food of the United States of America
A bill was introduced in the Texas legislature to designate chili as the official state dish
Over 20,000 spectators and 60 contestants participated at each, including international cooks from England, Scandinavia, Canada, Mexico and Australia
The annual World Championship Chili Cook-offs were held in highly notable places: Paramount Movie Ranch; the Hollywood Park Race Track; and then Universal Studios in beautiful Burbank, California
ICS began offering formal memberships
Cash prize awards for chili winners were established starting with $15,000 going to first prize, $5,000 to second, and $2,500 to third
Up until this point the main prize was a trophy, however this year’s winner took home a Datsun Pickup, Larry Mahan cowboy boots, and a Rival crockpot
Miss Chili Pepper, Shoot N' Hollar, Mr. Hot Sauce, and beer drinking contests began
Entertainment and celebrities were now a trademark of the WCCC
Woody and Shelby decided that the ICS and World Championship needed full-time management and Jim West is hired as Executive Director
Allegani Jani Schofield, with her Hot Pants Chili, became the first female World Champion
This was the last year the World Championship was held in Terlingua- the birthplace of the WCCC
Sixth Annual World's Championship- we were now a tradition!
Up to this point the competitors at the World Championship were men only. Janice Constantine of Midland, Texas became the first female competitor
A statement of purpose, articles and by-laws were distributed for the new "INTERNATIONAL CHILI SOCIETY" (ICS), which sanctioned the 1970 cook-off
Woody started what is now known as "showmanship" at all chili cook-offs and became part of the team that would contribute to the future of ICS (alongside Carroll Shelby)
C.V. Wood, Jr. (also known as "Woody," the man who built Disneyland and who brought the London Bridge to Lake Havasu) competed and became the first ever winner!
The competition was a shoot-out between Wick Fowler and H. Allen Smith, and was eventually determined a draw.
The very first World Championship Chili Cook-off (WCCC) was pioneered in Terlingua, Texas by Carroll Shelby, Tom Tierney, H. Allen Smith, Wick Fowler, Dave Witts, Bill Neale, Frank X. Tolbert, Father Duffy, Ormly Gumfudgin, and Bill Doner... to name a few!