First South Bank Sponsors Inaugural Chili Cook-Off

For the first time in its 30-year history, the North Carolina Pickle Festival hosted a Homestyle Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by First South Bank. Whether you prefer spicy or smoky, turkey or beef, this competition was open to everyone and delivered a variety of dillicious takes on chili.

Chili Cook-Off

During our 2016 NC Pickle Festival, cash prizes for First Place, People’s Choice, and Showmanship were offered to the winners. The winners were:

1st place: Jimmie Holmes and the State Farm Team

2nd place: Wendy Doubles

3rd. place: Jeff Pitta – Dr. Chili’s Germ Kicking Team

People’s Choice Award: Eddie Casey – Carl & Chelle’s Grill Room

Best Booth: Jeff Pitta – Dr. Chili’s Germ Kicking Team

Sanctioned by the International Chili Society, we needed a field of 10 teams in order for the winner of this event to qualify to compete in the ICS World’s Championship Homestyle Chili Cook-Off. In our first outing this year we had six teams, and each of the competitors left happy and ready to come back for next year.

We hope to build on the success of our inaugural year to send a N.C. Pickle Festival representative to the ICS World’s Championship as a North Carolina Regional Champion in 2017!

As we look forward to next year’s festival, we want to send a big thanks to Chili Cook-Off Chairman, Jamie Grady, and to our inaugural sponsors First South Bank and Goldsboro News Argus. Find more information about this event, as well as the many others happening during the Annual NC Pickle Festival in Mount Olive, online at