The 10th annual Federal Way Farmers Market Chili Cook-off will take place from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Federal Way Farmers Market in the parking lot next to Sears. People can purchase tickets for $12 to taste seven local restaurants’ chili offerings, with $10 of every ticket going to support local non-profits. Courtesy Federal Way Farmers Market

Federal Way Farmers Market Chili Cook-off benefits local non-profits, recognizes restaurants

Seven local restaurants will be competing to see who can make the best chili at the 10th annual Federal Way Farmers Market Chili Cook-Off.

The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Federal Way Farmer’s Market, 1701, S. 320th St., in the Sears parking lot. People can purchase tickets for $12 to taste a portion of each restaurant’s chili, plus cornbread, salad, drinks and desserts.

The Chili Cook-Off not only awards bragging rights to local businesses, it serves as a fundraiser for local non-profit organizations. Each participating restaurant has been paired up with a local non-profit. For each ticket sold, the non-profit organizations receive $10, with the other $2 funding the event.

Federal Way Farmers Market Events Director Rose Ehl said the non-profits and restaurants either choose to work with each other, or are paired together before the event. This year’s restaurants and their associated non-profit are:

The Ram, Citizens for FW Schools

Café Pacific Catering, Communities in Schools

Galluccis, Rotary Club

Billy McHales, Lions Club

Jimmy Macs, FUSION

Black Bear Diner, Valley Cities Counseling

Jersey’s Sports Bar, FW Day Center

“We have a meeting with the non-profits in the restaurants to introduce them to each other,” Ehl said. “Then they plan on how they are going to set their booth up together. It’s a good relationship that they build with the restaurant.”

This year’s event is Seahawk-themed, and former Seahawk Jordan Babineaux will be at his own booth, meeting the public and handing out 50 miniature footballs signed by him on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This year, the tents will be blue and green. All the restaurants will decorate their booth blue and green for the Seahawks,” Ehl said.

People can also buy raffle tickets for the chance to win prizes, the biggest being two Seahawks club level tickets to the Dec. 17 game against the LA Rams. Those cost $20 each, and the winner will be announced at the end of the event.

Restaurants will also be competing for first through third place and other awards, such as People’s Choice, Most Ticket Sales and Best Decorated Booth.

Ehl said this event started off with around 200 participants and has blossomed to become one of the farmers market’s biggest events, with over 800 people who showed up last year.

Ehl said restaurants such as The Ram have a competition within themselves, having all their chefs make chili before-hand and then choose the best one for the cook-off. She said the event gets pretty competitive, as all restaurants want to win a trophy and plaque.

For more information, visit www.federalwayfarmersmarket.com.

Tickets can be purchased through each participating non-profit, at various sponsors and at the Federal Way Farmers Market. They can also be purchased at the event.

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