Chili after all in Terlingua this year

A cook-off trophy in progress. 

Although this year’s traditional Terlingua chili cook-offs were canceled because of coronavirus fears, chili-heads can still get their fix this weekend at the Outlaw Chili Cook-Off.

Organizer James Tomey called the cook-off a protest, saying, “This is totally because they canceled the other two chili cook-offs. That’s why we’re calling it the Outlaw Chili Cook-Off.”

Scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Nov. 6-8 at Gossland on Terlingua Ranch, the event received approval from both Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson and County Judge Eleazar Cano.

Tomey stressed there were no rules. Chili doesn’t need to be cooked onsite, and it can be any kind of grind and any kind of chili.

“And if someone is afraid of a virus, they can drive in, drop their chili off, leave, and go sit in the desert. They don’t have to be in a crowd at all,” he said.

People will be arriving Friday, and RV and camping spots are available. Neil Trammell will host open mike on Friday night. On Saturday, music starts at noon, with chili turn-in at 4 p.m. More than 40 musicians will perform on Saturday, all donating their time.

A gospel brunch and potluck are scheduled at 11 a.m. Sunday.

There’s no entrance fee to the event, but there is a $10 entry fee to participate in the cook-off. All proceeds, including the cook-off entry fees, will benefit South County schools.

Said Tomey, “Everyone is donating everything. The annual chili cook-offs in Terlingua bring a lot of money to the community and to the schools, and we want to help make some of that up.”

Cook-off winners will receive trophies built by Tomey and his dad.

“They’re huge!” said Tomey. “They must weigh 10 pounds! And we’ll have bandanas made that say ‘Chili Lives Matter.’ This is going to be a chili cook-off for fun, like it used to be.”

For more information, call Tomey at 830-9331-4855, or George Goss at 432-371-2654.

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