Gonzales Elks Lodge sponsors 2023 Winterfest Cook-off


There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to running the annual Winterfest Cook-off. This year, Gonzales Elks Lodge #2413 will be in charge of the mainstay event, which pits local cooking squads against one another in four categories: Bloody Mary, stew, beans and chili.

The cook-off will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 in Independence Square in downtown Gonzales. Registration/check-in and container pickup will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Holly Jeane Boutique, 505 Saint Joseph St., Gonzales. This is also where all finished items will be turned in.

The contest itself will be in the 400 block of Saint George Street and the 600 block of Saint Paul Street.

There will be barricades downtown. Cooking squads may drive in to the area at the intersection of Saint George and Saint Paul. All vehicles will have to be removed from the area by 10 a.m. Vehicles will be allowed back in at 3:30 p.m. to load up, and will need to be removed by 4:30 p.m.

There will be a 10-minute window to turn in each item.

Bloody Mary: Turn in 12:30 p.m., $15 entry fee.

No container will be provided for the Bloody Mary turn in. You will be permitted to pick up your turn-in container after judging is complete. Decor/garnish and appearance will be part of judging.

Stew: Turn in 1 p.m., $15 entry fee.

Must be cooked from scratch. Ingredients and meat are cook choice. No canned or pre-cooked stew allowed. One pot of stew per team. Must be turned in in the container provided.

Beans: Turn in 1:30 p.m., $15 entry fee.

Must be cooked from scratch, starting with uncooked beans, canned beans are not allowed. One pot of beans per team. Must be turned in in the container provided. Nothing larger than the bean should be put in the turn in cup. Do not put jalapenos in the turn in cup.

Local chili: Turn in 2 p.m. Chili grind, cooked from scratch, starting with raw meat, complete commercial chili mixes are not allowed. Beans, macaroni, rice, hominy, or other filler ingredients are not permitted. One chili per team. Must be turned in in the container provided.

Entry forms can be found on the Gonzales Elks Facebook page. Completed forms can be dropped off or mailed to Gonzales Elks Lodge $2413, P.O. Box 762, Gonzales, TX 78629, or the day of the cook-off at Holly Jeane Boutique. Entry fees can be paid in cash or check. Winners will be announced after judging takes place.