KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Entrants come from four states to see who’s got the best recipe, as they have been for decades. The annual East Texas Oilman’s Chili Cookoff was held Thursday at the World’s Richest Acre in downtown Kilgore, and the sweet, or maybe spicy, smell of chili filled the air.
Nearly one hundred big batches of chili brought them in this year.
Travis Cummings with TechnipFMC has been “chilli-ing” for a while, and he knows how to attract the tasters.
“Internationally acclaimed chili! Everybody’s mother told her they love this chili!” Cummings shouted.
He takes his role as chili caller very seriously.
“Everybody who works in the oilfield loves our chili! If you wear overalls, coveralls or bedazzle your jeans you’ll love our chili,” Cummings insisted.
And it seemed to be working.
“If you’ve ever worn Crocs, you’ll love our chili,” Cummings promised.
Travis is working with Bob Davis Sales.
“Well, Bob Davis Sales has been involved with this for 27 years. They were one of the first people that started it. They raised a lot of money for one of the local charities in town. I believe they raised $60,000 to $70,000 every year for this, and we have over, I think, 80 teams this year. They’ve been doing it a long time. And the community comes out here, shuts the town down and everybody has a good time,” Cummings said.
“If you own a VCR you’ll love our chili,” Cummings said.
Chad Azlin with H&S Valve was a chili sampler for the first time.
“What do you think about the authentic Texas Chili with no Beans?” I asked Azlin.
“Oh that’s the only kind there is,” he said.
“How’s the stomach feeling about now?” I asked.
“Oh it’s pretty good. I’ve been taking it easy,” Azlin replied.
“Pacing,” I offered.
“Yes, sir,” he smiled.
“I bet 80 percent of this crowd own a VCR, and it’s got the Andy Griffith Show on it,” Cummings surmised.
At 10 a.m., the crowd was brisk, but by 1:30 p.m., they were a bit slower for some reason. That, coupled with empty chili pots, pretty much had credits rolling.
I’m thinking maybe they should have “antacids for charity” at the gates.
With the $5 entry fee you received an arm band with peel off numbers to cast votes to rate the chili. Proceeds from the cook off go to benefit the East Texas Treatment Center which offers services for physical and language therapy.
The winners are:
1. Southern Transport
2. Texas Oilfield Angels
3. C&S Lease
4. Applied Consultants
5. KK Mobbs Construction