The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 16, 2013

Mike Pound: Chili champs gathering in Joplin

August is a perfect time to serve up a steaming hot bowl of chili.

Just ask Jon Tupper.

“It’s just a soup,” Jon said. “We make it just like any other food group.”

Jon knows a thing or two about chili. Like just about any guy who tinkers around a grill or in the kitchen, Jon has made his own chili for years. Some time ago, Jon fell into the world of competitive chili cooking. He competed in several events and met some great people, and the next thing he knew he was heading up the Mo-Kan Chili Pod, a group of 25 to 30 folks from Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas who compete under the umbrella of the Chili Appreciation Society International.

A longtime competitive barbecue contestant, Jon quickly came to enjoy the more relaxed, low-key, friendly atmosphere that simmers at a CASI competition. And unlike some of your big-time barbecue competitions, chili cooks don’t roll up with expensive, over-the-top grills or cooking equipment.

“We all cook on Coleman-style camp stoves and, in a typical competition, use about two pounds of ground beef. The competitions only last one day, and they aren’t that expensive, so you can get more people involved,” he said.

Jon is hoping to get plenty of people involved on Saturday, Aug. 3, when the Mo-Kan Chili Pod holds the Missouri State CASI Chili Championship. The contest — aptly titled the Route 66 Mother Road Chili Cook-Off — is being held in conjunction with the Route 66 International Festival being held in Joplin and will begin at 9 a.m. at the Hogs and Hot Rods Saloon on old Route 66 and State Line Road just west of Joplin.

There will be two chili categories: Official CASI Chili and No Rules Chili. The CASI chili must be prepared under the organization’s guidelines, while the No Rules chili can be freewheeling.

“If you make it, call it chili and eat it, then it qualifies,” Jon said.

There also will be a traditional and nontraditional salsa contest and a wing contest. Entry fees for the chili contests are $25 for one category or $35 for both. The salsa contest fee is $5 each, and the wing contest is $10. To enter or for more information, contact Jon at 417-439-8605.

Tasting kits will be available to the public for $5 after 1 p.m., which means a five-spot will get you some really good food.

Cash prizes will be awarded in all categories and all money raised will go to Mo-Kan Youth Charities.

Jon said the Route 66 Mother Road Chili Cook-Off is more than just a chili competition. Think of it as more of an all-day party that happens to have a lot of great food. In addition to the cook-off, there will also be live music, raffles and a host of special activities.

There will also be some pretty heavy-duty chili cooks on hand. No fewer than four and possibly five CASI Terlingua International Chili Champions are planning to be in attendance, including reigning champion T.J. Cannon as well as 2012 champion Larry Walton, 2010 champ Tom Dozier and 2004 champion Roger Foltz. Jon said having all of that expertise in one place at the same time is a chili coup.

“In the chili cook-off world, this is a big deal,” Jon said.

Oh, if you bump into one of the chili champs, don’t be afraid to ask for a few tips. Jon said that most folks in the chili cook-off world are free with not only their advice but their recipes. Up to a point.

“We have a saying that goes: You can make my recipe, but you can’t make my chili,” Jon said.

A second cook-off will be held on Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Joplin Holiday Inn. For entry information for that cook-off, you can also contact Jon.

For more information about the entire weekend you may visit, or

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • Last two safe room projects up for Joplin School Board approval

    The Joplin Board of Education during its meeting tonight will consider more than $2.4 million in bid packages for safe rooms at Columbia and West Central elementary schools.

    April 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Mosaic pieces together purpose

    Today I want to tell you about a man named John — a man I never knew existed until last week. And yet he’s making a difference in my community. He is an individual served by Mosaic of Southeast Kansas, which also, I learned, is making a difference.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage Historic Preservation to re-create trolley era

    Recapturing history is difficult, but recapturing history without a building, an artifact or a singular focal point is even harder. To celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, Carthage Historic Preservation wants to recapture an era and an experience that have been gone from the city for almost 80 years: the era of the trolley (or tram) cars that provided public transportation.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Candidates for associate judge address GOP group

    The response was all but unanimous among four candidates seeking two Jasper County associate circuit judge positions. Asked to cite the biggest obstacle to justice in Jasper County, three of the four said the most prevalent challenge is getting the needed time on a busy court docket.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Money to area lawmakers slows down but doesn’t stop

    With the Legislature back in session, the flow of campaign cash to local candidates has slowed. But in this election year, the money did not completely stop. All members of the local delegation to the Missouri General Assembly are on the ballot this year, but only two lawmakers are facing opposition.

    April 20, 2014

  • Joplin City Council to hear baseball plan details

    Proposed redevelopment plans for Joe Becker Stadium will be discussed with the Joplin City Council in a work session at the end of its regular meeting tonight. The WLD Suarez partnership has obtained a franchise of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball that succeeds the El Paso (Texas) Diablos.

    April 20, 2014

  • 041814 EPA projects5_72.jpg Contaminated mine tailings could be used on west bypass

    About 500 acres of former mining land at Wildwood Ranch have been reclaimed by contractors working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than 1 million cubic yards of contaminated mine tailings in the form of chat and waste rock have been consolidated in a surface repository that someday could be part of the roadbed for a limited-access highway that transportation planners hope to build on the west side of Joplin.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

Must Read


The United States is considering deploying about 150 soldiers for military exercises to begin in Poland and Estonia in the next few weeks, following Russia's buildup of forces near its border with Ukraine. Do you think we should deploy these troops?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter