Chiliheads Unite

For The Love Of Chili

What’s a Chilihead?

Anyone involved with the ICS as a member, a volunteer, a sponsor, a founder or a true supporter of coming together over a fantastic bowl of chili, is a Chilihead. We are honored to have such a passionate community of people all over the nation. As fellow Chiliheads, we pledge to continue the friendship and comradery that was established back in 1967 and continues today.

Chilihead Legends

Thank You For Your Dedication To ICS

Carroll Shelby Founder & 1st President

What began as a “boys club” type competition for this champion race car driver and automotive icon continued to evolve into the organization that is now the ICS! Shelby was a legend in the racing fraternity and will forever be a legend in the world of chili.

C.V. Wood, JR. (Woody) – Co-founder

A legend in the construction/development of theme parks (i.e. Disneyland) and our World Champion in 1969.

Jim West

The first Executive Director who was vital to the growth of ICS.

W.D. "Bill" Ray

A legend who certainly "earned his peppers" back in the early years. Bill approved and scheduled the first California State Championship in 1974, and in 1978 was voted one of the Governors of the ICS. He was instrumental in the organization of the By-Laws and the ICS.

Woodruff "Wino Woody" De Silva

A lover of cooking and using various wines in his culinary masterpieces- as well as pouring some into himself (hence his nickname). In 1968, Woody was elected to represent California. Oddly, he used a wok to cook his chili and ingredients such as Champagne and a spice called “woodruff.”

Dr. Roy Nakayama

The famed agronomist from New Mexico State University who developed most of the modern chile strains. He grew, developed and studied all types of chili peppers and was our official source for anything to do with peppers. Roy's lovely wife [Rose] said, "Going to the World Chili Cook-offs was always the highlight of a successful chili year for Roy... He felt any chili cook-off was good for the industry and deeply believed they helped generate the interest and [as a result] huge strides were made in the Mexican food trade."

Carol Hancock President & Publicity Queen

Carol was the 1985 World Champion who brought the ICS to another level with her publicity magic. Hancock appeared on numerous TV shows such as Live with Regis and Kelly, The 700 Club, and Good Morning America. She also became a spokesperson for Frito-Lay Inc. as well as participated in a national 8-month publicity campaign and competition against Calvin Holt (who owned the famous Serendipity Restaurant in NYC). Hancock won the challenge, hands down! She transitioned into Executive Director and eventually the second CEO and owner of ICS.