River City Chili Cook-off History
In 2013, a group of parents looking for new ideas on an event to help support their school came up with the idea of a Chili Cook-off. That first year, the Holy Cross Chili Cook-off, as it was called back then, was held in the school's gym. It featured a few local restaurants, some home cooks, a beer, and wine garden along with a raffle and silent auction. Needless to say, the Chili Cook-off was a success!
Fast forward a couple of years, and the Chili Cook-off outgrew the school gym. The local and surrounding communities were coming out to the Chili Cook-off to sample and vote on chili made by restaurants like de Vere's Irish Pub, Dos Coyotes Border Cafe, Broderick's Roadhouse, Morton's: The Steakhouse and other well-known area restaurants. Knowing the event needed an awesome location, the organizers reached out to Raley Field to inquire about the Western Health Advantage Legacy Club. The 5,000 square foot event space, has breathtaking views of the Sacramento skyline and is located at Raley Field, one of the gems of West Sacramento and was a great location to host the event. But the event had a great problem, it outgrew the capacity of the Legacy Club - turning away attendees in both 2015 and 2016.
The event was officially renamed the River City Chili Cook-off to encompass the Capital Area's many rivers in both the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento. The 2016 event was the first event to feature an exclusive line-up of restaurants and caterers as its competitors, solidifying the River City Chili Cook-off as the Capital Area's Premier chili cook-off!
Today, the River City Chili Cook-off is still a highly anticipated evening of fun, a successful school fundraiser, but moreover, it is a legitimate competition that features unlimited tastings of chili made by some of the Sacramento area's top restaurants, caterers, and chefs. Attendees enjoy a fun evening filled with great food, top shelf libations, award winning local craft brews, and fun carnival type games all in the name of supporting kids and education.
All the proceeds from this amazing event benefit the students of Our Lady of Grace School in West Sacramento, which has been serving families for almost 60 years. Funds are used to support educational and extracurricular activities the school offers.