Texas Chili Cook-Off set for Feb. 11

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 2/2/22

Local teams and community leaders will again compete in the annual Texas Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce,

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Texas Chili Cook-Off set for Feb. 11

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Local teams and community leaders will again compete in the annual Texas Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce,

The cookoff is set for 4-7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce parking lot, 814 East Ave. Proceeds benefit the Katy ISD Future Farmers of America.

“It should be a lot of fun, and it is for a good cause,” Ken Gregorski, Katy Independent School District superintendent, said.

Gregorski is one of three celebrity judges for the event. The others are Joshua “Cutter” Brewer, who was a contestant on season 5 of MasterChef, and Shannen Tune, who was a contestant on season 21 of Chopped.

“I am always willing to participate in events that support our Katy ISD kids,” Gregorski said. “Prior to the pandemic, the culinary program at the Miller Career and Technology Center had multiple competitions for the students. My favorite was the chicken wing challenge. Hopefully, we can get back do doing those type of fun events soon.”

Gregorski said although he grew up in the north—he earned his bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University—he didn’t recall any recipes for chili that were outstanding.

“But when you grow up in the cold north like I did, everyone appreciated a hot bowl of chili in the winter months,” Gregorski said.

Gregorski said spices would make for a good chili.

“A good chili needs to be spicy, but not too spicy that a person cannot enjoy the taste,” Gregorski said.

One issue for debate among chili devotees is the inclusion of beans. Being from the north originally, Gregorski said most people put beans in chili. At any rate, that’s what he grew up with.

“But I also understand that in Texas, saying that beans go in chili are ‘fightin’ words,’” Gregorski said. “I just want a good bowl of spicy chili, beans or no beans is fine by me.”

The cook-off has slots for 22 teams, and all but one of those slots have been filled. The event itself is complimentary though there will be opportunities to make donations to support the Katy ISD FFA.

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