TUPELO – Ten prizes were awarded during Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association’s Chili Fest on Friday evening.

Fifteen teams competed, with each team cooking its own chili recipe and providing samples for attendees, who then voted for their favorite. All other prizes were awarded by a panel of judges. The winners were:

• First Place “Make Ya Wanna Slap Your Mama Good” – Team MACK

• Second Place “Better Luck Next Year” – Tupelo2Go/C.H.O.P.

• Most Original Recipe “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” – Tupelo Park & Rec

• Most Unique Taste “Mystifying Oomph” – Tupelo Fire Department

• Crowd Favorite (“People’s Choice”) – Tupelo Park & Rec

• Best Presentation “Serve It Up Right” – CB&S Bank

• Best Team Spirit “Rowdiest Cooks” – Tupelo Fire Department

• Best Costumes “Sauciest Get Up” – Renasant Bank

• Most Creative Tent “Most “Souped Up Kitchen” – Simmer Down/Industrial Automation

• Most Original Theme “Supreme Scheme” – Tupelo2Go/C.H.O.P.

An honorable mention was awarded to BancorpSouth.

Here are a couple of the winning teams’ recipes from the event.



2 large yellow onions, chopped

4 green bell peppers, fire-roasted, seeded and chopped

2 poblano peppers, fire-roasted, seeded and chopped

4 jalapeño peppers, fire-roasted, seeded and chopped

2 habanero peppers, fire-roasted, seeded and chopped

Olive oil

1 (10-pound) smoked brisket, cubed

6 dark-style beers, such as Porter

4 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

4 (28-ounce) cans tomato sauce

4 cans dark red kidney beans, drained

4 cans light red kidney beans, drained

Chili powder to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sugar, or to taste

Saute onions and peppers in olive until onions are translucent. Add cubed brisket and cook just until meat is warmed through. Add beer, tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans. Add chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar last. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 hours. Refrigerate overnight. Cook another 2 hours over low heat before serving.


(Tupelo Fire Department)

8 slices thick-cut bacon

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium sweet yellow onions, diced

Salt and pepper

Red pepper flakes

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped

1 poblano pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 to 6 cups chicken broth

1 packet McCormick White Chile Seasoning

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin

1 1/2 tablespoons Mexican or regular chili powder

4 cans white chili, Great Northern or navy beans, undrained

1 1/2 smoked sausage links, casings removed and chopped

1 can black beans, undrained

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, cubed

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese

1 1/2 rotisserie chickens, skin removed, deboned and coarsely chopped

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, for garnish

Cook bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes until done but not crisp, turning slices over halfway through. Remove bacon to drain, then to a cutting board for a course chop. Set bacon aside. Pour bacon grease into a large Dutch oven, scraping any bits of bacon off the foil in the process.

Add butter to bacon grease and turn heat to medium-high. Add onions and salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir and sauté for about 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add peppers and sauté an additional 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.

Add 4 cups chicken broth (more can be added later if needed) and bring heat back up to medium-high. Add seasoning packet, cumin and chili powder. Stir while bringing to a boil to dissolve the seasonings.

Add white beans, reduce heat again to a simmer and cook beans for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid their sticking to bottom of pot. Use a potato masher to break up some of the beans, which will help to thicken the chili.

Add sausage, black beans, corn and cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Add cream and Gouda and stir to combine. Add chopped chicken and bacon pieces. Reduce heat to low and stir until chicken is heated through. Adjust seasonings and add more broth of needed.

Serve with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and cornbread or crackers. Makes about 6 quarts.

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