If you're a chili fanatic, this is definitely a weekend to stay in town. There are at least two chili cookoffs planned that we know about, both in Brooklyn and both going down in bars, where the beer will flow freely (well, not literally freely) to extinguish any raging fires in your scorched mouth-hole. Up first on Saturday, there's the 2nd Annual Debate Society Chili Cookoff at Moonshine in Red Hook, where $10 gets you unlimited chili from all contestants. Or bring your own chili to compete and eat for free. Email stinky cheese-eating champion Oliver Butler (oliver AT thedebatesociety DOT org) for details, or just show up Saturday at 2 p.m. with $10 and an appetite.
But save room for Sunday, when the annual Brooklyn Underground Chili Extravaganza (or "BRUCE") blazes into Williamsburg's Barcade at 8 p.m. Judges (pictured) will evaluate each chili and declare a winner in accordance with a strict set of rules, such as "chili comes in a pot, pot does not come in the chili," and "vegetarian chili competes on an even field with carnivore chili." (The organizers, who have a MySpace page, stress that the 2006 winner was a vegi-chili.) Oh, and all chilies must have a name; in the event of a tie the win goes to the one with the most clever handle.