Texas Style Chili

Canyon Lake's own Darlene Evans (left), Mary Stephens (center) and Cecille Evans are busy brewing to perfection their entries into the Sattler VFW Post 8573 12th Annual Chili Cook-off on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Force.

by Kevin Force, Editor

The aroma was simply intoxicating and could be picked up blocks away last weekend as the Sattler VFW Post 8573 hosted some of the best chili and best chili cooks in the state at its 12th Annual Chili Cookoff.

More than 300 people turned out to smell, sample and cheer on the collection of more than 50 cooks that included five world champions. As early as Friday, these chili veterans began waddling their RVs down to the corner of Sattler Road and River Road to set up shop and begin to prepare their best effort at true Texas-style chili.

And although they were all entered in the competition, not all were there to win. Sure, maybe the five CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) world champions were looking for another prize to win or trophy to hoist, but many just turn out for the atmosphere, the fun, and most definitely the food.

"The entire event was a huge success for the VFW which will allow us to continue our community work and scholarship program this year," said Ron Plumley, who coordinates the event for the VFW.

The local support was especially evident as a large crowd assembled Saturday for the event, witnessed the judging, and stayed for the dance, which featured live music right inside the VFW hall.

The locals did not just make up the crowd, however. Plumley said nine of the 59 cooks in Saturday's competition were from the Canyon Lake area, although some estimated the number near 20. Many more were from neighboring communities, such as Dripping Springs, Luling and Kyle.

One of the locals was Honey Jones, a certified CASI world champion.

Another was Darlene Evans, who concocted "Deputy Darlene's Chili" that earned sixth place on Saturday.

Evans shared an RV, its shade and a workspace with family members Mary Stephens (Blue City Chili) and Cecille Evans (Chili by C). But they drew the line at sharing burners as each entered the competition for themselves.

The competition heated up again on Sunday with 43 cooks in the mix.

Competition chili is blind judged on the basis of aroma, consistency, red color, taste and aftertaste.

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