Classic City Chili Cook-off

On a beautiful autumn day in Athens last week, the Classic City Chili Cook-off sponsored by local digital marketing firm HW Creative brought close to 100 people to Little Kings Shuffle Club downtown for a tasty lunchtime event benefiting Four Athens. The friendly competition between participating Four Athens member startups and local restaurants was a quest to win people’s choice in four categories: Best Classic, Best Flaming, Best Veggie, and Best Restaurant.



Serving 15 different kinds of chili

Folks swarmed the serving tables from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm to try samples of the 16 different kinds of chili on offer, then voted for their favorites. Chili recipes varied from “Smoking Hot with a Great Personality,” using a blonde ale from home brewer and edtech master David Ducrest of Cogent Education, to “Taters Gone Tate,” a veggie option with a sweet potato base cooked up by James Preston of local music video production startup LiveSyphon. Participating restaurants were not to be outdone with delectable submissions from The National, Pulaski Heights BBQ, and The Place.


And the winners were…

Best Classic – The Notorious PIG’s Jurassic Pork Chili by Vitamin C

Best Flaming – Bitchin’ Bumble Bean Fiesta by Axon Tutors

Best Veggie – Mama Maria’s Veggie Chili by RAI Home Inspections

Best Restaurant – Pulaski Heights BBQ



Axon takes the prize for Best Flaming

Prizes for each winner included gift certificates to downtown Athens establishments. About the event, Richie Knight of HW Creative said, “HW has a deep passion for everything chili and we have all been really disappointed to see the former downtown chili cook-offs disappear. So this year we decided to create our own and couldn’t think of any better downtown organization to partner with than Four Athens. We wholeheartedly support the mission and vision of Four Athens and made a commitment to do as much as we can to help support them. We hope that this is the first of many fundraisers hosted by member-companies!”


The successful event raised close to $900 for Four Athens, a nonprofit fostering startups and increasing tech education for improved economic outcomes in Athens. Funds raised will go towards supporting tech education initiatives for kids and adults. More information about tech classes offered through Four Athens is at Upcoming events for folks interested in the Athens startup scene are listed at



HW Creative interns tally the votes

A huge thanks to Richie Knight for putting this stellar event together on our behalf. Our member companies had a great time planning, cooking, and sharing their chili concoctions (with a healthy dose of friendly rivalry) in the weeks leading up to the big day. We look forward to more community engagement opportunities for our startup members to make Athens proud.



The Classic City Chili Cookoff draws a big lunch crowd to Little Kings


Tamara Neff
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