My cook team at my Unitarian church will be hosting a chili contest tomorrow evening. I haven't heard yet how many contestants might be bringing chili, but we have three categories - red, green and vegetarian. Seeing as how this is Colorado, we may very well have a mixture of game meat and domestic meat in those pots. I expect to eat very well tomorrow evening, in part because I'm in charge of judging the contest. I'm looking for ideas and suggestions from one of the great deliberative bodies on this planet, the Daily Kossack Army, for how to make the judging fair and entertaining. I've seen the cooking shows on TV and while I prefer the Barbecue ones just due to my own favorite food, I'll try and incorporate some of the ideas and feedback of the other shows in our judging.
I am not looking to feed trolls, but I'd also welcome ideas for people's favorite chili recipes or accompaniments.
We will have three judges. Two have been on our cook team for a decade, the third is someone who has been a long-time member of the church and also is a frequent participant in the church dinners. We will have to set up in a room aside from the main buffet area so we don't catch hints as to whose chili is whose. I don't think we'd play favorites, but I really want this to be as neutral as possible. We will have someone bring in chilis for us to sample and I figure we'll sample the same one at the same time rather than having a selection and we choose our own order and perhaps have that affect the judging. I'm also thinking about how to cleanse the palate between samples. I'm used to the idea of milk in putting out fiery spice, but the cook team lead suggested soda water (?!?).
Please put in comments below suggestions for how you would judge this and any links if you want to online resources.
My thanks in advance for the feedback.