MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. –– For the first time in its history, the International Chili Society (ICS) is implementing a new, qualifying exemption process for cooks who want to compete in the 54th Annual World Championship Chili Cook-Off (WCCC) next April in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The new process will allow anyone who has won first place at an ICS cookoff in the 2018/2019 or 2019/2020 cooking season to qualify directly into the 54th WCCC event, as long as they are in good standing. The rule was implemented by officials this past week after surveying the number of qualifying events that have been postponed or canceled during the current cooking season.
"We realize that it's been hard for many cooks to get qualified this year due to Covid-19 ripple effects," commented Mike McCloud, President and CEO of WFC. "To help make the process easier, the Chili Congress and I decided to lift the typical qualifying process to allow first-place winners of the 2018/2019 cooking season as well as the winners of 2019/2020 cooking season as their WCCC qualifier."
Each ICS event’s first-place winner that wants to register for the 54th WCCC has until December 31, 2020 to claim their spot. If the first place winner chooses not to use their qualification, the opportunity will default to the second-place winner of that ICS event. In order to handle registrations in an organized manner, ICS will launch an online registration system in the coming weeks. This system will be similar to the World Food Championships registration process where a competitor simply selects the event he or she won and fills out key information.
Additionally, ICS will be bringing back the Salsa category in 2021. Due to the fact that Salsa was eliminated in the previous year, ICS will accept registrations from any ICS member who placed first in a Salsa event from January 1, 2016, to present. This five-year exemption period should allow an ample amount of Salsa competitors to yield a competitive field at the April event.
The registration portal that will allow this unique policy to occur will be opened up to contestants on September 1st and will remain open until December 31st. At that time, ICS will reopen the portal to second place winners that are next in line for registration. More specific instructions surrounding the online registration will be released soon.
About the International Chili Society
Since 1967, the International Chili Society (ICS) has been bringing people together over one of America's greatest culinary creations. ICS sanctions more than 100 events a year nationwide with one mission – to continuously improve chili while raising money for charities and nonprofits. More than $100 million has been raised for charities by the chili arena since ICS was started. To celebrate each year’s pro-chili season, ICS holds a World Chili Championship Cookoff (WCCC) and crowns World Champions. To see previous winners, click here.