Gay Chili Cook-Off Expects Another Hot Year

Penny Johnson (left) and Julie Seaver at last year’s gay chili cook-off. Facebook.

Sherry Matteson has been competing in the annual gay chili cook-off for the last three years. Despite not winning anything, that never stopped her from entering.

Related: 4th Annual Gay Chili Cook Off in Lake Worth

Unfortunately, this year other obligations will keep her away from the event. But it won’t stop others from going to the 5th annual Gay Chili Cook-Off at Penny’s at the Duke in Lantana. 

On Sunday, Jan. 29, Penny’s is hosting the cook-off starting at 1 p.m. All proceeds go to Compass Community Center’s LGBT Youth Program. 

“It’s a great fundraiser for Compass and always draws a lot of people,” Matteson said. “Everyone gets to eat chili and plus it’s competition!”

Penny’s owner, Penny Johnson, has been hosting the competition every year and hopes this year they can raise $10,000. Last year they brought in $4,000.

“My partner works at Compass. I have a bar and wanted to have a chili cook-off,” she said. “It turned into this big thing that's an annual fundraiser for them.”

And this isn’t the only fundraiser for Compass that the bar hosts. Johnson says they do at least two a year. The bar also regularly helps to raise money for other causes as well such as autism, breast cancer, and pets.

The chilli cook off will be judged in two different ways: how much each contestant raises in tips and four anonymous judges. The combination of how much money they raised and the judges’ notes determine a winner. Last year there were 11 entries and Johnson says they expect about 8-14 this year. 

Aside from Matteson’s entry, other groups have routinely put in their tasty chili. According to the Facebook invite, H.G. Roosters took the crown last year, winning for best chili, and Johnson expects them to compete again, as they have every year since the competition started. Mad Hatter Lounge and Fort Dix Bar are also big competitors. 

Slots are open to submit your chili. Find out how to enter and attend by going to and clicking on the event page. There’s a $5 minimum donation.


If You Go:

5th Annual Gay Chili Cook-Off

Sunday, Jan. 29 1-7 p.m.

Penny's at the Duke

902 N Dixie Hwy. Lantana 33462

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