How to compete in cooking contest?

This is a tough one. My friend has a friendly neighborhood chili competition every year. I make a classic texas red chili with homemade beef stock, make my own chili paste etc... I have done poorly in the past few years against people who have a "limited" taste palate. Last year the winner had ricotta on top (?) this year the winner had ravioli on top (second had cashews). Uhhh do i stick to my principles or next year do I enter baked bean dish with a pizza on top? i.e. how do i crack into that world of eaters?
sore loser :)

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