Chili Cook-Off

O’Leno Olé Chili Cook-Off

By popular demand Friends of O’Leno will host the 7th annual CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International, Inc.) Chili Cook-Off at O’Leno State Park on March 29, 2014. Bring your favorite chili recipe and compete with the best during this CASI sanctioned chili cook-off. You do not have to be a member to participate. There will be prizes for 1st – 10th place in the cook-off, and 1st – 3rd place for the Showmanship. CASI rules can be found at Chili Appreciation Society International, Inc. or you can compete in the Open category where anything goes! The prizes are for 1st – 5th place winners in the Open category. Contestants must be 18 years or older. Purchase a sample kit and vote for the “Peoples’ Choice” Award. For a registration form Click Here. For more information email Friends of O’Leno at or contact Ed Bisch at 352-222-0159. Scroll down to check out photos and information from prior years Chili Cook-Offs at O’Leno State Park.

Tickets will be on sale for a chance drawing to win a free canoe trip on the Santa Fe River donated by the Canoe Outpost.  All proceeds from the Chili Cook-off will be used for the feeding and care of the animals in the O’Leno Nature Center and for the construction of an interpretive pavilion for the Nature Center.

Chili Cook-Off: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.  Fee: $20 per team for either category or both for $35.  Park admission for this event is free with the donation of one can of food per person to be donated to a local food bank. To learn more about CASI and CASI rules go to:

The Springs Celebration event also will be held at O’Leno State Park on March 29, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Join us to learn about the Sink to Springs connection and the Floridian Aquifer, and enjoy hands-on water activities, presentations, videos and live music.



O’Leno Olé Chili Cook-Off 2010

O’Leno’s third Olé Chili Cook-Off took place March 27, 2010.Plenty of chefs made a showing to show off their chili this year! Enjoy the photos!


Here are the top 3 for the CASI Chili contest:

1st  Frank
Arevelo, Wellington, FL   

2nd  Bert
Dunn, Homosassa,   FL   

3rd  Amy
Beams,Homosassa, FL




1. Jimmy Maturo, Niceville, FL

2. Marylyn Dance, Flagler Beach, FL

3. Chuck Stock, Orange Park, FL



1. Brenda McKenzie, Ft White, FL

2. Marylyn Dance, Flagler Beach, Fl

3. Chuck Stock, Orange Park, FL










 O’Leno Olé Chili Cook-off 2009

O’Leno’s second Olé Chili Cook-off took place March 28, 2009. It proved there are a whole lot of people that like chili and plenty of chefs that want to show you how it’s done. Take note, as the following are some of the 2009 winners for Best Chili and are featured in the photos on this page!1st Place Chili Winner: AMY BEAMS of Homosassa, FL (Sorry, no photo, but she had to be mentioned!)






Winner of Showmanship and People’s Choice Award: JIM MATURO, Niceville, FL, Silver Wings Chili (Top Left Photo) 3rd Place in Showmanship and 3rd Place in Chili: KEN SWART, Kennesaw, GA,  Black Gold Chili (Top Right Photo. Ken’s in the blue shirt, getting it “just right”.) 5th Place Chili: BRET HARDER, High Springs, FL, Coco Loco Chili (Bottom Left Photo. Bret with Jim Rothfeldt, CSO President, in the white hat.) 9th Place in Chili: RAY LAMPE, Lakeland, FL, Swingin’ Meat Chili (Bottom Right Photo)(If anyone has any photos of any other winners they would like featured on this page, please e-mail them to or contact The 2010 O’Leno Olé Chili Cook-off, Mar 27, 2010, will have 2 categories:  Chili Appreciation Society International and an Open Division. This is a CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International, Inc.) sanctioned cook off but you do not have to be a member of CASI to participate. To learn more about CASI and CASI rules go to: Entry fee is $20. Contact Harriet Walsh 386-454-4806 or email: for more information.

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