Winterfest Chili and Bean Cook-Off a success


Some of the area's finest recipes for chili and beans were on full display Saturday afternoon in Confederate Square at the annual Chili Cook Off as part of the Winterfest festivities.

By the time the afternoon was over, the Judges declared the team of Brett Kuntschik, Jacque Kuntschik and Justin Kloesel as the winners of the chili portion of the cook off.

"I've been doing this ever since I was a little boy," Brett said. "I enjoy doing this, and I really like to support these types of events and support the town."

The team is known for its participation in area events.

"We've been to a number of these cook offs in Shiner, Moulton and other places," Jacque joined in. "We also do a lot of barbeque contests too".

The effort paid off, as the Kuntschik's chili recipe was awarded first place over nine other teams.

Second place went to 13-year old Mason LaPointe, who entered the contest "so I could beat my uncle R.J. (Bell). He teases me a lot so it would be nice to talk smack to him."

Bell, who was located right next to Mason's table, piped in that his chili was still better.

Bell made his rookie debut on Saturday, and said he really didn't expect to win anything. Why?

"I have never, ever cooked chili," Bell claimed. "I just went to H.E.B. and picked out some products that I thought would taste good in chili and threw it together."

It paid off, as he was awarded third place by the judges and he didn't stop grinning all day or night.

In the beans cook off, local denizen Mary Ann Pullin was the Judge's choice for best beans.

"This is the second time I have entered," Pullin said earlier in the day. "It sounded like something fun to do, so I'm here just to have a little fun and help support downtown." Pullin is the owner of Food to You catering service.

In second place, were Sonny and daughter Jana Dolezal. Sonny operates Sonny's food truck – and also serves up a mean recipe of beef stew.

In third place were the Christmas Bells, consisting of team members Connie Dolezal, Gina Bozka, Kim Payne, Leigh Perkle, Jody Williams and Sherri Schellenberg.

In the People's Choice Chili division, brothers Ronnie and Mike Zella took home top honors.

When asked what special ingredients they used to make their outstanding chili, Ronnie quickly quipped: "Well, I tell you one ingredient we put in it — Love!"

His brother Mike quickly shot back: "When did we start doing that?"

It was the best line of the day, and was typical of the good time everyone had at the cook off on Saturday.