Make yourself comfortable and stay for a while!
Congratulations to Alan Greiner from Round Rock for winning 1st Place Chili at the 22nd Annual Tolbert Men's State Chili Championship of Texas. His lucky weekend, for sure because Alan also won 3rd Place Show and placed 4th in the
Black-Eyed Pea contest. Ordinarily, right about here we'd mention something about him now being qualified to cook Behind the Store in November, but since Alan has lifetime qualification for having won all the marbles in 2001, we'll just keep still.
Tolbert Men's State automatically qualified the top three chili winners for Terlingua 2014. The other two are:
Bob Pulliam from Burleson won 2nd Place Chili and is now qualified to cook at the 47th Annual, Original Terlingua International, Wick Fowler-Frank X. Tolbert Memorial Chili Championship (aka Behind the Store) in Terlingua this November. Bob generally cooks CASI events, but he and a group of friends thought they would give Tolbert Men's State a go this year, and we're sure glad they did! Hope to see this group of real nice guys on down the road to Terlingua this season, they're welcome to cook with us any old time!
Third Place Chili went to Mr. Fred Lazarus of San Angelo. No stranger of top chili awards, Fred won the Al Hopkins-Tolbert Texas State Chili Championship in 2012. High caliber award winning chili might just be in the DNA, to whit, his brother David is the current Tolbert Terlingua champion.
After an overnight low of 26 degrees, the weather couldn't have been better on Saturday for Men's State. It quickly warmed up and became bright and sunny with blue skies and a scattering of white puffy clounds floating high. The temperature continued to climb all the way up to right around 80 degrees, and it stayed shirt-sleeve pleasant until long after dark.
However, under the threat of bad weather rolling in during the wee hours of Sunday morning, campsites were struck and passenger vehicles were moved to higher ground before folks went to bed Saturday night. Hearing some of the veterans' stories of mud to the axles and RVs being pulled out of the quagmire by tractor was good motivation. Sunday it was back to another Arctic blast with a freezing mist in the air and it deteriorated from there.
It was the ladies that ran the show on Saturday. From registration right through announcements the guys didn't have to worry about a thing. The ladies even carried their own heavy objects! Elke Jensen took care of the palate cleansers (and brought some killer cinnamon rolls too!), Debbie Eiland Turner took care of registration and acted as Head Judge. She also brought chocolate cupcakes! Deba Center, a woman of many hats tracked down and signed up judges, monitored tables and acted as our Mistress of Ceremonies for awards. Second generation cook Christina Smith monitored tables for the first time, and took to the task like a duck to water - she did a great job. We'd like to thank Peggy for authenticating ticket numbers, and Kim Eckert for helping with the trophies. Who knows? Maybe switching it up like this was the start a new tradition for Tolbert. Reva Weatherly suggested we do this quite some time ago.
There were six teams competing in Showmanship, a good number for this moderate-sized event. Richard Willis of the Greater Fitzhugh Metropolitan Area (aka SW Austin) won 1st Place Show with a little game giving more than a passing nod to Mardi Gras.
There were 31 chili samples turned in for the Tolbert Men's State Chili Championship, and the competitive field was impressive. The aforementioned Brothers Lazarus and Alan Greiner, as well as Doug Higgins, Men's State 1st Place in 2009, Jeff Ritchey, Men's State 1st Place in 2010, Jimmy Smith, Men's State 1st Place in 2011 and 2012. And, although he didn't cook, Tommy Bennett from Kerrville who has won Men's State an amazing three times, 1998, 2000 and 2007 dropped in to do some Final Table judging. A whole lot of talent in one spot.
We had another noteable dignitary and Chili Ambassador Extraordinaire at the 2014 Tolbert Men's State, Mr. Wayne "Gabby" Turner. Deciding he was up to the trip he came with the wife, and spent the weekend with us. Mighty good to see him back in action. Although not nearly as hale and hearty as
he once was, he cooked a pot of chili, wandered in and out, told tall tales, and even managed a spin on the dance floor. Bravo!
As mentioned above, Sunday's weather was more suited to polar bears than chili cooks and permission was granted to cook inside the pavilion as well as the smoke house for the Brazilian Open. The atmosphere was really quite festive with banners hanging from the ceiling and a full spectrum of colorful jackets, hats and scarves. It was more like a party with everyone gathered in the kitchen. Lots of chattering and lots of laughter. Secret ingredients probably weren't so secret in such an intimate setting, but nobody cared. The fire smoldering and sometimes roaring, not only added a nice ambience, it was used extensively for fingertip and backside warming.
Jimmy Smith from Harker Heights, the only back-to-back champion in the history of Tolbert Men's State was the 1st Place Chili winner of the Brazilian Open. Gil Cantu Jr. of Austin won 2nd Place Chili, and his Texas Show Team teammate, Phyllis Greiner from Round Rock won 3rd Place Chili. All three are now qualified to cook Behind the Store this November in Terlingua. Laury McCullough of Austin won 1st Place Show with Dead Boot Chili.
Dead Boot Chili, aka Laury and Deba also put on the two alcoholic events. Flexibility is an admirable quality and Dead Boot Chili was very grateful that the competitors of both contests were amenable to 24 hour postponements.
On Saturday, from a field of eight entries, 1st Place Beer went to Bill Center of San Antonio who had submitted a bottle of Real Ale's 'Devil's Backbone.' On Sunday, the Changes in Latitude Beverage Challenge was won by Phyllis Greiner of Round Rock. Not sure what she served but Mr. Bud Rozell, our only judge, liked it and declared it the winner.
Aside from giving people something to do, these silly little contests did manage to raise another $85 toward a BB Hughes Scholarship. A sincere thank you to all of the participants. It was fun and we're likely to do it again next year!
The list of winners for both cookoffs can be found on their respective pages. A slide show has been posted on the Men's State page and a mini slide show on the Brazilian. If Bud remembers to send his photos we'll build a new slide show and announce it here on the Home Page.
No chili this weekend. Gives you all plenty of time to stock up on supplies or perhaps tweek your recipe in preparation for the Al Hopkins-Tolbert Texas State Chili Championship. It's coming up quickly - weekend after this, on March 15th at the Lockhart City Park. Entry is $20 with a 2 pm turn in.
Exciting news! The Junior Chili Division (ages 7-17) is just about ready for prime time. Texas State can be one last practice run. Beginning in April, the kiddos will start racking up points, ultimately leading to a Championship Cookoff! Cecelia Stroessner will be overseeing this important new group of competitors. More details will be made available soon, so keep an eye on this website as well as our Facebook page for more information as it is released.
Lone Star BBQ Society is sanctioning a barbecue cookoff in conjunction with the Texas State again this year. Prices are set at $20 per meat category, and there will be a cash pay out based on entries. Meat must be inspected before being cooked. A Mandatory Cooks Meeting will be held at 9:00 am on Saturday. Pre registration is recommended. A printable PDF entry form can be obtained by clicking on the button below.
On the other hand, beans are not sanctioned by anybody. Lone Star's rules are a little too constricting and are in direct opposition to what the original Bean Eaters Annonymous (B.E.An.) contests were all about. Since we're all about what they were all about, We don't need no stinkin' rules! Cook what you want, where you want, and the way you want. May the best bean win!
One of the big issues discussed at the Annual Tolbert Meeting in January was attendance. How do we attract and keep new cooks. How can we retain or get back the old ones? How do we improve public participation?
Showmanship is a shadow of what it once was too. How do we convince cooks that show is worth the effort? Showmanship generally involves extra labor, expense and cargo space for props. So, what makes a cook decide to take on the extra work involved with doing show?
We want to know what you think would improve attendance and participation on all three fronts. Please share your thoughts by clicking on the box above or sending an email to email@example.com.
A summary of the January 18th Tolbert Annual Meeting is posted under the Home page.
February 10, 2014
It is an honor to formally announce that applications for the 2014 Mike “BB” Hughes/Robert Corley Memorial Scholarships are now being accepted!
These scholarships are open to any graduating senior in Texas who is intent on furthering their education. College, Junior College, University, technology and trade schools all fit the bill. However, students pursuing BB’s interest in agricultural studies will get the fast track by our Selection Committee.
We have several members connected to the educational system and we will be relying on them to help us find deserving graduates and get applications into the right hands.
We’d also like to extend the search by asking all of you to look around your own lives, families and circle of friends for potential recipients. Just like the Central Texas Tolbert Chili Group, it’s a friends and family kind of thing.
The application and all instructions are available right here on our website in a printable PDF format. The deadline for applications, including a one-page essay is April 30th, no exceptions.
Here’s to the future and Viva Terlingua!
The 2014 Selection Committee
FYI, older postings that we've shared with you will move from this page to the Gossip, News and Updates page to keep a running tab on what's going on with each other.
(For the season anyway!)
2013 Behind the Store 1st Place Chili Champion
Dave Lazarus from Killeen
2013 Tolbert Ladies State Champion
Nancy Cromer from Fischer, Texas
2014 Tolbert Texas Men's State Champion
Alan Greiner from Round Rock, Texas
2013 Tolbert Texas State Winner
Mary-Lyn "Mouse" Rheinhardt
of Canyon Lake, Texas
Mike "BB" Hughes & Dwight Hamilton, BFF
A group of friends who just happen to cook award winning chili and BBQ while we raise awareness and funds for some mighty worthy causes.
It's me - Laury McCulloughI'm your webmaster and always available firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, that's simple. We cook and promote the Official State Dish of Texas: Chili.
We host over 30 chili events per year at a variety of locations, including the Al Hopkins Tolbert Texas State Chili Championship in Lockhart.
Aside from having a lot of fun, we support a long and varied list of charitable causes like Phone Cards for the Troops, the VFW Scholarship Fund, Special Olympics, and Breast Cancer resources to list just a few. Check the Where We've Been and Why We Do It page for beneficiary details for some of the cookoffs.
Most every weekend! Be sure to check the What's Coming Up page for the details on this week's cookoff!
All over Central Texas! For most events we will have a map and/or directions on how to get to the various locations on the Map Page to help you out.