The Festival


We’ve teamed up with Hole Park, one of the area’s prettiest gardens, to bring to Kent one scorcher of a weekend.

This is sure to be a great day out for chilli enthusiasts, food lovers and families. If you enjoy the sensation of steam coming out of your ears then this is the Chilli Festival for you! We have some of the country’s most respected chilli companies showcasing their plants, condiments; chutneys, hot sauces, relishes, pickles and oils.

Speak to the experts and discover how to cook with chillies and which chillies to use that won’t blow your head off. The stallholders all love chillies and will be only too pleased to talk to you.

BUT if you don’t like it hot there’s plenty of choice from the stallholders for the less robust palette, such as artisan cheeses, fudges, jams, garlic, ginger beer, local ice cream, crepes, olives. Plus original artwork, smart kitchen knives for chilli-chopping, Ecuadorian clothes and bags, ceramics…………..

So it doesn’t matter if you are a bit of a chilli-head or a bit of a wimp, no one’s going to judge you (unless you enter the chilli eating competition).

Chilli Cook-off Competition – Saturday

If you think you can cook a mean chilli-con-carne (or vegetarian chilli), well here’s your chance to prove it. Run by the UK Chilli Cook-off Association, in aid of the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, this is your chance to compete against other teams to make the best gallon of chilli-con-carne in 4 hours. All preparation and cooking to be done onsite at Hole Park on Saturday 30th June. To register your team visit Chilli Cook-off Association’s website. So get a couple of friends together, perfect your recipe and enter your team now. Festival visitors can buy a spoon for charity to sample all the entries! Limited number of spoons available!

Chilli Eating Competition

Open to members of the public in it purely for the kudos of being a Great Kent Chilli Festival Chilli-eating Champion, the chilli eating competitions take place at 4.00pm on both Saturday and Sunday. The rules are simple: there 10 rounds, starting with mild, and the chillies get hotter, and hotter, and hotter! You have 2 minutes to finish each chilli, and you may not drink anything during the competition, no matter how good that chilled pint of milk in front of you looks!

Entries open 2 weeks before the event, follow us on Facebook for updates.

Chilli Sauce & Chutney Competitions

Your chance to be the judge in our fun Chilli Sauce (Saturday) and Chilli Chutney (Sunday) Competitions. Make your way to the sauce competition tent to taste and vote on the entries made by the traders themselves.

Talks & Demonstrations

Make your way to our Talk Tent to hear experts give talks on chilli peppers and tips on cultivating chilli plants. our local chefs will demonstrate delicious recipes involving chillies from our demonstration kitchen in the Talk Tent. Full programme to be announced.

For Children

If your children aren’t quite ready for super-hot chilli sauce tasting don’t worry! We’ll have plenty of milder food for the gentler palette and of course some bouncy castles (for older AND younger children), an inflatable slide, a mini-carousel, coconut shy (yay!) and face painting.

Fresh Chillies – be aware

Just a quick word about fresh chillies: in the UK the main chilli harvest is in September/October, although plenty of varieties do ripen earlier in the year. So the traders may not be supplying fresh chillies, but you’ll be able to get your hands on mature chilli plants with some fruit on to ripen on your windowsill at home.