By Kathi Bliss
Chilly weather? Chili weather.
The Caldwell County-based Central Texas Tolbert Chili group announced this week that they are seeking judges to participate in this weekend’s fifth annual Special Olympics Chili Cookoff at Cedar Hall, 1721 S. Commerce, in Lockhart.
The chili cookoff, traditionally Lockhart’s first in any calendar year, is a qualifying event for the annual Frank X. Tolbert – Terlingua Chili Championships held each November in West Texas. What’s more, the event is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, and all entry fees are paid directly to that organization.
Officials from the Central Texas Tolbert Chili Group said they expect upward of 60 chili entries on Saturday afternoon, along with a wealth of other entries including: potato salad, ribs, margaritas, beans and brisket.
For each of those categories, judges are needed to determine the best of the best. Usually, those judges are volunteers plucked out of the crowd. This year, CTTCG wants to expand the judging pool to include anyone in the area who has ever been curious about, or interested in cookoffs, judging or simply sampling good food.
Judging will begin at 11 a.m., and continue through the afternoon until brisket judging begins at 3:30 p.m. Potential judges do not need to pre-register; they can arrive at the event and say, “I want to be a judge,” and CTTCG will find them a table and a judging form.
After judging is complete, visitors are encouraged to stay on for a live auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Special Olympics. Organizers have been gathering auction items for weeks, and those items, though not publicly announced as of press time, were expected to include jewelry and decorative items, services and more.
For information or to register for the cookoff, contact Tom or Jill Burrows at (512) 620-0196. To judge, sample chili, enjoy live music or purchase new things for a good cause, visit Cedar Hall on Saturday, Feb. 12.