In 2011, the International Chili Society introduced the Certified Chili Judges program which was designed to bring consistency and knowledge to chili judges, particularly newer ones. A Certified Chili Judges class will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 4:00pm at the Comfort Inn Plymouth Clocktower, 40455 Ann Arbor Road at the Ann Arbor Road/I-275 exit 28 in Plymouth, MI.

The Class will be taught by Wes Carlson, the 2004 Verde World Champion and Diane Lentz, the 2009 Salsa World Champion.

The class is NOT mandatory and certification is NOT required to judge at ICS cook-offs.  These classes are for seasoned judges and new ones alike.  Chili Cooks may also be interested in attending to learn more on what the judges are being taught.  After winning a cookoff, you may want to help judge as well.  One new Certified Chili Judge wrote: “Definitely worth it!  I took the class at the WCCC in Manchester, NH and now I am “proudly” a Certified Chili Judge.  Even though I’ve been judging chili for about five years, I still learned new things in the class!”

Class fee:  $45 for current ICS members

                 $45 + $20 ICS Judges Only Membership

                 $45 + $50 ICS Regular Cooking Membership

Class size will be open to the first 15 to RSVP.  Payment will be the day of class.  Cash or Check only.

Any questions and to RSVP, please contact Wes Carlson –

After the class you should plan on attending the VIP party in downtown Plymouth at E.G. Nick’s!

A few chili credentials for Wes Carlson:

  • 2004 Chili Verde World Champion
  • 2005 3rd Place Red @ World
  • Cooked in all 50 States
  • Cooked at World 14 times
  • Cooking Since 1983
  • Ran and Organized Northern Illinois CCO, 6 years
  • Have been Chief Judge at many CCOs
  • Have judged either Red or Verde in 39 States
  • Have been Chief Judge in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Vermont, Missouri, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii (Verde), Connecticutt (Will be in April), Maine

A few chili credentials for Diane Lentz:

  • has cooked chili for 20+ years
  • cooked in 18 WCCC (first one in 1992) placing 3rd, 4th and 5th through the years
  • in 2010, reigned as World Champion in Salsa
  • judged at numerous cookoffs, including the WCCC
  • done scorekeeping
  • Grand Master in Red and Verde

After the class you should plan on attending the VIP party in downtown Plymouth at E.G. Nick’s!



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