Over 20 Restaurants Will Participate in VisArts’ 8th Annual Chili Throwdown on Oct. 1

September 16, 2021 News

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond hosts its eighth annual Chili Throwdown event on Fri., Oct. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m., with early access for VisArts members from 5 to 6 p.m. This year’s event will feature chili from over 20 area restaurants, beer, wine, and live music by The Cary Street Ramblers. This COVID-conscious event will be held mainly outdoors in the VisArts Cabell Courtyard, rear parking lot and adjacent community garden. Attendees will be required to wear a mask indoors in compliance with VisArts’ COVID-19 policy.   

Tickets to the indoor/outdoor event are $25 for VisArts members and $30 for the general public. Children under age 12 eat for $5 and kids under 3 years old eat for free. Adult admission includes a handmade ceramic bowl and a drink ticket. To sign up for a VisArts membership or to buy tickets to the Chili Throwdown, visit  

Over the years, the VisArts Chili Throwdown fundraising event has been attended by hundreds of people each year. Attendees are drawn to the good food and beautiful selection of one-of-a-kind, handmade clay bowls and mugs made by clay artists in VisArts’ studios or donated by local ceramicists. All additional ceramic bowls will be available for purchase on-site. 

Twenty-one restaurants have signed on to participate this year. They include: 821 Café, Alamo BBQ, Amuse Restaurant, Bombolini, Brenner Pass, Curbside Café, The Drop Off Chef, EAT Catering, Fat Kid Sandwiches, Garnish, Goatacado, Home Team Grill, Jadean’s Smokin Six O BBQ, The Lobby Bar, Mise En Place, Mosaic Catering + Events, Royal Pig, SB’s Lakeside Love Shack, Smohk, TBT El Gallo, and ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque. 

Restaurants contribute their best chili, which is taste-tested by both a blind jury and event attendees. Event participants vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award, and judges name the Critics’ Choice Award winner. This year’s judges are Scott Wise and Robey Martin from Eat It Virginia Podcast, Justin Lo from Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Chef Ray from SoleFood RVA.  

VisArts Chili Throwdown is sponsored by: Clay Works, Five19, and Montana Gold Bread Company. All proceeds from the event benefit VisArts.  

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond (VisArts) is the largest non-university studio-arts program in Virginia. Each year, VisArts offers more than 1,000 visual and creative arts classes in clay, wood, fiber, painting, photography, printmaking, glass, metal, drawing, writing, decorative arts and other visual media.  

VisArts has touched the lives of more than 40,000 adults and children by helping them explore their creativity and make art since 1963. It does so through its classes, exhibitions, community outreach programs, camps, workshops and special events. 

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