Make yourself comfortable and stay for a while!
Although we know who won the Mid-County Fire & Rescue Volunteers' Chili & BBQ Cookoff at Cedar Hall on September 6th, the paperwork is dragging, and until the sanctioning process is complete, we don't publish. Better to get it right the first time than try to go back and correct something - especially when cyberspace is invovled. We expect to have everything up to snuff pretty soon and will announce the posting of any winners list when available.
There was a steady drizzle and it was pretty wet in Manchaca on Saturday for Robert Corley's Lil' Ol' Country Cookoff. The weather was likely a contributing factor in the low attendance. But, judging from the laughter coming from tarp enwrapped canopies, the spirits were high, and from the odors wafting on the breeze, there were some mighty fine good eats being carried around in Styrofoam containers too.
Voted best Hawaiian attire - Brenda Willis of Austin.
Robert Corley would have been pleased.
We had 16 entries for this late in the season event, with the highest award going to Matthew Sturn of Lockhart. Matthew now has 4 points toward Terlingua. The full list of winners is posted on the Lil' Ol' Country Cookoff page. A huge thank you and Congratulations to ALL of the participants.
If anybody can produce the other half of these tickets, trophies will be awarded. Otherwise, se la vie.
Non sanctioned and restricted to cooks already qualified to cook in Terlingua this November who have participated in at least one CTTCG event this season, there were 16 entries for the 2014 CTTCG Tournament of Champions. After scorching his chili - again - top prize went to Bill Center of San Antonio. He has scorched his chili a couple of times this season and gone on to score the big win. You don't suppose that's his secret ingredient, do you? How long do you let it scorch before adding liquid? Do you scrape away the stuck chili or do you leave it alone? Difficult questions. A full list of winners is posted on the Tournament of Champions page.
There were quite a few old faces we've not seen for a while... Carl and Donna Angers, Beth and Dewey Lawhon recently back in Texas after a two-year stint in Puerto Rico, and Russ and Stacey Stateham from N. Richland Hills. It was like old home week. We sure appreciate you folks coming out.
We'd like to thank Alan "Scotty" Parker for all his hard work during judging; Richard Willis for his assistance with registration; and Doris Corley for making the drive from Corsicana to help with all the tally chores during judging and helping us continue what Robert and Dewey started. And, although missing in action due to some painful dental surgery, we'd like to thank Nancy Morgan of Giddy Ups for once again supporting this event.
Next weekend we have nothing on the schedule, except of course on Saturday the 20th the Open Casting Call for MasterChef down in San Antonio (see the letter and flier posted below), and on Sunday, September 21st, our Rivercat Chili folks, Jon Clark and Cecelia Stroessner will be getting married in Dripping Springs. Me-ow! What's on your agenda?
Weekend after that and wrapping up the season, on September 26, 27th and 28th there are several events taking place.
First event for your consideration: For the lady cooks it'll be the Tolbert 44th Annual Ladies State Chili Championship of Texas at Yett Memorial Park in Blanco. The park is a great place for an event with a covered pavilion, a kitchen, public restrooms and lots of RV parking space, but hookups are limited ($25), and it's Friday and Saturday night camping only. No early arrivals. Fun starts Friday night with the B.E.An. Bash (turn in 6 pm) and Margarita Mix Off (turn in 6:30 pm) and this year's Cooks Pary has a Hollywood Red Carpet theme for the annual costume party. Not wanting to leave the men out, there are BBQ competitions open to all. Of note: Chili turn in on Saturday is 1:00 pm.
For the first time ever, there will be a day two event for Ladies State on Sunday. They're calling it Just A Chili Cookoff. Some of you may remember that this event used to take place in May each year. Turn in time Sunday is Noon. Both Ladies State and Just A Chili Cookoff benefit Breast Cancer Charities of America. Please see the What's Coming Up page for all the details on both cookoffs.
The second event for your consideration: The Last Chance Cookoff in Rockne at the VFW Post 2527. Camping is available but there are no hookups. The weekend of competition starts on Friday night with Margarita and Appetizer contests and folks are encouraged to stick around for the Nathan Young & Keen Country Band. Some of you may remember them from Terlingua last year. Saturday continues with a full menu, including this year's surprise contest - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Yum-e!
There is also a Day Two for the Last Chance, chili and... waffles? Chili turn in is Noon. The beneficiary of both of the Rockne Last Chance Cookoffs is the Bastrop County Area Go Texas Scholarship Fund. Please see the What's Coming Up page for all of the event details.
The last Tolbert offering is in San Angelo - it's the 40th Annual Armed Forces International Chili Cookoff. This event takes place at Goodfellow Rec Camp and is open to active duty and retired military and DOD civilians. The top three winners in Chili and 1st Place Show qualify to cook Behind the Store in Terlingua on November 1st. For more information on this cookoff please contact Harry Gilbert at 325-944-1012.
Dwight got an exciting phone call a couple of weeks ago, and then he got a follow up letter. A woman from Fox Network looking for home cooks for an open casting call! Here... read it for yourself.
It was such a pleasure speaking with you yesterday, thank you for taking the time!
As I mentioned on the phone, we're currently casting season 6 of FOX's MasterChef and are looking forward to coming to San Antonio to find some great amateur home cooks. This is actually our 1st time coming to San Antonio to cast so we're really looking forward to seeing how many fantastic home cooks we can find!
We will be holding our casting call on Saturday, September 20th at the Embassy Suites Riverwalk.
I reached out to the Central Texas Tolbert Chili Group because I understand you are a successful organization with a number of talented chili and BBQ cooks. I'm hoping some of them might be interested in applying for MasterChef. We'd love to get some skilled San Antonio home cooks on the show this year to represent the great state of Texas!
Attached please find our flyer for more information. Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to address them.
Please feel free to share the flyer with your members any way you'd like. We'd love to spread the word to the whole Central TX Tolbert Chili Group community so any help you can lend would be MUCH appreciated!
Thank you so much for your time and assistance Dwight, I look forward to hearing from some of your members soon!
Gina Gonzalez | Casting Producer
Pretty exciting, huh? Best advice we can give any of you considering this little adventure, watch the program, because the competitions can be brutal. Look for it on Monday nights on Fox - 7:00 pm.... maybe. Check your local listings.
That's about it for now. See ya'll at Giddy Ups!
Looking more like an Amish carpenter than a chilihead, Jimmy Goodson, a Thirsty Ol' Goat up in Alvarado was kind enough to check in with us recently. He reports that his beard has grown about 2.5 inches since March, and so far he has collected about $125 for ALS. His grooming style: au naturale. His impact on others: cleaner language.
Mastermind behind the Thirsty Ol' Goats campaign Bubba Thorp from Paige has a nice long beard going.
Bill Center, another Ol' Goat down in San Antonio reports that with his facial growth, some trimming has been necessary for dining with mixed company. Shussh! Looks like he's dozing. We'll check back on him later.
This may be early August but it's never too early to start thinking about Terlingua, because when it comes to Terlingua there's a lot to think about. Weather and clothing. Shelter, sleeping and where to clean up. First Aid supplies. Packing space. Food shopping lists and maps to navigate. Skipping over all the stressful stuff, how about figuring out just how soon you want to get there.
A lot of the newer cooks have no idea the scope of activities that take place Behind the Store over the course of the cookoff week. The Big Event is, of course on Saturday, but the fun starts much earlier in the week. To help you plan your trip and Vacation Time Off Request, we offer the following for thought.
MUSIC: Pack your dancing shoes! Live music at the stage under the pavilion Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, usually starting around 5:30ish. The final lineup:
Wednesday, October 29th you'll want to meander over to the CTTCG camp right about sunset for a phenominal Community Feed. No announcement has been made as to what the entree will be this year, but side dishes are more than welcome - in fact we'll be counting on 'em! We'll keep you posted.
Thursday, October 30th is Gate Duty Day for CTTCG
Members of the Central Texas Tolbert Chili Group staff the entry gate from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. Generally staffed with at least 2 people on 2-hour shifts, duties include checking in the qualified cooks and show teams and collecting gate fees from all others wishing to gain entry to the cookoff site. This is a great way for the Show teams to get out there and be seen (and remembered) early on. And, the two hours flies! Think about it and figure out which two hours you could spare, and then raise your hand when we call for volunteers, okay?
TERLINGUA GOLF ASSOCIATION
With no grass and certainly no manicured greens, golf Behind the Store is something to see! Started in 2002 by Doug Higgins, this 3-“hole” tournament is quite a hoot! Bring your club, your personalized balls and an old bath matt. For a nominal $3.00 entry fee, you'll have a blast. Tee off time is nine o’clock on Thursday morning.
Brand new event this year, Richard Willis is heading this one up. We'll let the flier speak for itself.
With a 5 pm turn in, Tolbert's Last Chance Cookoff was designed to help those cooks still needing points to qualify. Treated like a qualifier, the top three chili cooks get automatic qualification status to participate in the Big Cookoff on Saturday. The remainder of the top ten earn the standard issue 2 points. So, if you land in Terlingua with only 7 of the needed 9 points, you could cook, place 10th and conceivably go on to take all the marbles. Please note that all points earned at this very last cookoff expire with Saturday's event and do not carry over into the new chili season.
Wine and Cheese Tasting Party at the CTTCG camp site right about sunset Thursday evening. What started out as a homemade wine tasting has grown into a “Bring-Your-Own-Bottle-AND-One-To-Share Plus a Plate of Horse Dovers” event complete with tables piled high with sweet and savory finger foods. Sophisticated palate not required.
Friday, October 31st
Jimmy Smith will once more be heading up all the barbecue, bean and black-eyed pea competitions. There is a registration form on the What's Coming Up page. Please follow the link for a printable form. The deadline is October 17th to get your name on the Free Admission List at the Entry Gate. (For the barbecue cooks that are not chili qualified, one armband per meat category, with a limit of two free armbands per household. Qualified cooks and show teams are also limited to two free armbands per household.)
We've gotten word that Tom Nall's Cowboy Camp will be hosting their annual chuck wagon dinner in honor of renowned photographer, Dallas resident, and long-time friend to the chili world, Mr. Chris Regas. All proceeds go to ALS. Chris is getting on in years and is a bit too fragile for the rugged terrain and sometimes harsh conditions in West Texas, but he'll be there in spirit. Donations are accepted - both food and money. More later.
Don't forget that Friday is also Halloween. It doesn't take much observation of the surrounding area to figure out that the local kids don't have a very easy time Trick or Treating in Terlingua. They're smart though, they come to both of the chili cookoff sites to parade their costumes and collect candy. Works out even better when we're prepared for 'em. So, in a nut shell - Please take a bag of 3 Muskateers or Snickers (suggestions only) earmarked for the children of Terlingua, Study Butte and Lajitas. They really appreciate us!
Adults like to celebrate Halloween too, and since most chiliheads seem to appreciate costumes, we're expecting good participation for the Halloween Costume Contest. Held at the stage sometime between barbecue announcements and the band signing off for the night, Tom Nall and brother Blue will be the Masters of Ceremony. Dress accordingly.
All that and didn't even get to the good part - Saturday!
We'll leave that for next time.
Better late than never, we submit the following photo.
This picture was taken during the presentation of a ceremonial check payable to the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation of the donation made possible by Team M&M's extreme efforts to raise money at last year's JDRF Cookoff. Their goal was $25K, and as you can see, they clearly made it. Their hopes are high that this year's cookoff - coming up on August 23rd at Cedar Hall - will be another rousing success.
We got a note in regards to the raffle they're having at this year's cookoff. We suspect high interest in the prize...
Tickets are available now through August 23rd. Winner need not be present. The cost: $10/apiece or 6 for $50. Stop by Cedar Hall and pick up a handful, contact Janet Matthews or Sandra Chapman.
If you have sent something to me and you have received no response or seen any action taken, please resend to chili.reporter@YAHOO.com and we'll see what happens. My advice: Never trust autocomplete, autofill or SpellCheck.
(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
2014 Tolbert Texas State Winner
Laury McCullough from
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 email@example.com
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.