Sunday was Cook-off Day at the State Fair of Texas, with Texas’ finest cooking their little hearts out for Fair passes, ribbons, and most notably… bragging rights!

A crowd of over 500 looked on as three main contests occurred, with some breaking up into smaller divisions.

The Three Pot Dutch Oven Cook-off required that each entry include three offerings… a main dish, a dessert, and a bread – and that three pots be used. Each cook had to use dutch ovens and be cooked only with charcoal. The Grand Champion (Electric Cowboy) took home a Big Tex Trophy and a ribbon. The Reserve Champion / 3rd place winner (She’s The Boss) took home a ribbon.

The BBQ Cook-off had three divisions… Ribs, Chicken and Ribeye. In this competition, each 1st place winner won $100 and a Big Tex Trophy. 2nd and 3rd placers took home a ribbon. For ribs… Marlin Hanna won first place, Brad Cook came in 2nd, and Larry Moody took home the 3rd place ribbon. In the chicken category, 1st place went to Jerod Angel, 2nd to Brenda Bustillos, and 3rd to Brandon Woods. The ribeye category (and one of the favorites amongst the judges!) awarded 1st place to Jeremy Bond, 2nd to Todd McCommas, and 3rd, yet again, to Brandon Woods of Flower Mound.

The third competition of the day was CHILI!, broken into two contests… a crazy, fun ‘no rules’ version, and the rather official CASI Qualifier. CASI, the Chili Appreciation Society International, is the organization that nets out the best of the best to determine who competes for the big prices in Terligua annually. Today’s competition was the last chance for those trying to obtain one of those coveted spots to gain any additional points needed to qualify.

The 1st place winner in the No Rules division, Suzanne Sweet of Dallas, won $100 and a Big Tex Trophy. 2nd place Michelle Kirk of Ennis and 3rd place Morris Moss of Garland both won ribbons.

In the CASI Division, 87 entries were narrowed down to 10, with the top three spots garnering a much needed point for the International Competition, and 1st place winner getting four! Aside from the 4 points, the first place winner also was awarded $100 and a Big Tex Trophy.

CASI judges entrants on 5 criteria… aroma, red color, consistency, taste, and aftertaste. Here are the ten winners in the place they ranked and the part of the Metroplex they were representing:

1. Suzanne Sweet, Dallas, Texas
2. Cathy Pierce, Wylie, Texas
3. 3. Patti Meyers-Jones, Athens, Texas
4. Sheila Tamez, Plano, Texas
5. TJ Friedel, Irving, Texas
6. Aryl Kohes, Dallas, Texas
7. Tom Dozier, Irving, Texas
8. Haley Pierce, Wylie, Texas
9. Kelly Brignon, Ennis, Texas
10. Jennifer Moore, Irving, Texas

There was also a fun division where cooks were judged on their creativity, and some went all out! There were pirates and voodoo dolls in attendance, along with an armadillo on a leash. The winners of this were:

1. Pick’em Up and Dust’em Off, Brenda Bustillos, Alvarado, Texas
2. Ghostown Chili, Tom Dozier, Irving, Texas
3. The Kracker, Kristen Knapp-Webb, Carrollton, Texas