Come OUT St. Pete to host chili cook-off

(Photo via Come OUT St. Pete)

ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete will host the return of the Grand Central District Chili Cook-Off March 10 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the district’s 3000 block and The Studio Public House.

The annual competition was a GCD staple for over a decade, bolstered by local restaurants and other supporters of St. Petersburg’s historical “gayborhood.” COSP was tasked with its return last year but rescheduled to ensure “the vibrant competition and diverse tasting experience that we know our community loves and deserves.”

“Get ready to spice up your weekend at the return of the Grand Central District Chili Cook-Off!” COSP shared in a press release Feb. 23. “Bringing together the finest chili chefs St. Pete has to offer, this sizzling event promises a feast for the senses and a celebration of culinary creativity that’ll leave your taste buds tingling!”

The cook-off is free to enter and registration closes March 9 at noon. Electricity will not be provided and exposed flames are prohibited, but participants may utilize propane, sterno products or a generator to provide at least one gallon of chili by 11 a.m. to be judged in two categories.

The first is People’s Choice, determined via chip drop from those who pay a $10 tasting fee. Voting will close at 3:30 p.m. A panel of judges will determine the other in a blind taste test completed by 2:30 p.m. Prizes are $200 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third in each category, along with a plaque for bragging rights.

“As every year, we invite you, the people who live in our neighborhoods to join the judging panel and add your taste buds to the mix! Bring your family, indulge in the savory symphony of chili and let’s crown the champion together,” COSP’s website reads. “It’s not just about the cookoff, it’s a celebration of shared moments, flavorful stories and the warmth that comes from coming together.”

The competition will feature music from DJ Jayson Chancey and entertainment from Silver Foxx and Veronica Vixen, the reigning Mr. and Miss COSP. Art vendors, a caricature artist and raffles are also expected. Read more below:

“We’re fired up to bring the community together for another year of chili-centric festivities,” COSP Board Chair Chris Jones says. “This event is not only a celebration of culinary talent but also a testament to the vibrant spirit of our welcoming diverse community.

“St. Pete’s welcoming diverse community makes events like these truly special,” he continues. “Whether you’re competing or simply joining us to sample some mouthwatering chili, we guarantee a day filled with flavor, fun and fond memories.”

Come OUT St. Pete’s Chili Cook-Off will be held March 10 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the 3000 block of the Grand Central District and The Studio Public House, located at 2950 Central Ave. For more information, visit

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