First Shot Cook Off a success in spite of weather


GONZALES — Over 75 entries from all corners of Texas took part in the 15th annual First Shot Cook Off at J.B. Wells Park on Friday and Saturday. The furthest entry came all the way from El Paso, Texas, with other entrants coming from Laredo, La Feria, Irving, Harlingen, Edinburg and San Juan to name but a few.

When all the smoking and cooking was done, Kelly and Lisa Curtis of the Panther Creek Cookers team from Keith, Texas took home the Grand Champion award along with a check for $3,000.

“It was wonderful considering the weather we had on Friday and Saturday,” event co-founder Shirley Breitschopf said. “We’re just overwhelmed by the support our little community provided by participating and coming out to help judge. I couldn’t be prouder of Gonzales.

“We’ve already paid our sanctioning fee to the IBCA for 2019, so we’ll be doing it again next year on the third weekend in September.”

According to Breitschopf, 61 teams participated in the barbecue portion of the event, 51 teams cooked chili and 38 teams cooked beans.

Winners in each category were:

• 1st place chicken: Michael Sanchez of Team Steady Qing out of San Marcos.

• 1st place ribs: Kellie and Lisa Curtis of Team Panther Creek Cookers out of Keith, TX.

• 1st place Brisket: Daniel Garcia of Team STX Smokers out of Laredo, TX.

• 1st place Beans: Frank Flores of Team Texas Heavy Smokers out of El Campo, TX.

• 1st place Jalapeno Poppers: Courtney Hahn of Gonzales, TX.

• 1st place Mushrooms: Linda Hybner of Team Shiner out of Shiner, TX.

• 1st place Chili: Dianna Hoy out of Cuero, TX.

• 1st place showmanship: Pit Trackers.

• Grand Champion: Kelly and Lisa Curtis of Team Panther Creek Cookers out of Keith, TX.

• Cook’s Pot Award: Hector Cantu out of Harlingen, TX.