First Shot Cook-Off rapidly approaching


Plans are moving forward for the rapidly approaching 12th Annual First Shot Cook-Off scheduled for Sept. 14-16 at J.B. Wells Park.

Founder Shirley Breitschopf says she expects approximately 65 barbecue teams and 40 chili teams to compete in the 12th annual First Shot Cook-Off.

“It’s a really big deal for all the teams who compete in the Cook-Off,” Breitschopf said. “Our event is sanctioned by IBCA (barbecue) and CASA (chili). “The Grand Champion gets $3000, and the Reserve Champion gets $1500. Plus, the IBCA barbecue winner gets an automatic entry into the big Jack Daniels Cook-off in Kansas City while the CASA chili winner gets an entry into the big chili cookoff in Terlingua in November.”

According to Miss Shirley, the First Shot Cook-0ff started when a bunch of people who liked to cook were just sitting around one afternoon/evening talking about cooking.

“There were a bunch of us from Gonzales, Shiner, Yoakum and other places just sitting around drinking beer when we just said ‘Hey! Why not hold our own cook-off?’” Breitschopf said with a big grin. “We started with 25 teams, and now it has grown into a big event—so big that this year we are going to hold it J.B. Wells Park to make it more comfortable for the judges, the teams and the people who come out to visit.”

Breitschopf emphasizes that the proceeds from the First Shot Cook-Off stay local, with the primary beneficiaries being the Gonzales Elks Lodge and the Gonzales Junior High athletic program.

“The people of Gonzales are really fantastic in giving back to the community,” she said. “I can’t say how much gratitude I have for the many volunteers and judges—it makes me so proud of Gonzales.

“We are always looking for judges, however, so if one of your readers would like to step forward and volunteer to be a judge in either the barbecue, chili, chicken, ribs, mushroom or jalapeno popper competition, we could use some more.”

The Cook-Off is not the only thing going on at J.B. Wells Park that weekend. There will be a 5k color run, a tractor pull, Go Texan event, plus there is a special mushroom competition taking place on Saturday. All the mushrooms have been donated by Kitchen Pride.

“We are going to have vendors at J.B. Wells Park this year, plus we will have a food truck to serve food to all the patrons,” Breitschopf said. “And the best thing about it is all the funds that are raised are donated locally. It’s a lot of fun so come on out and see what all the excitement is about.”

Set up is Friday, September 14 from 1 to 9 p.m., with a jalapeno popper competition that night. Saturday, will be the 5K color walk/run, the IBCA barbecue and the mushroom competition. On Sunday, it’s the CASI chili cookoff.

For entry forms online go to, or contact Miss Shirley at 830-857-6558 or Sissy Mills at 830-857-6247.