The Round Top Family Library’s 17th Annual Chili Cookoff fundraiser earned beefy returns in this still new year, thanks in part to cool temperatures and clear blue skies (aka perfect chili-tasting weather). 

Held on the grounds of The Stone Cellar pub, guests enjoyed live music from local party band Black Cat Choir while sampling homemade chilis prepared by 19 participating teams. Brisket and chicken chilis turned out to be standouts among the classic beef varieties. Chili cookers offered a variety of toppings to go along with their meaty concoctions. Including jalapeños, sour cream, green onions, salsa, hot sauce, corn chips and cheese.  

This year’s first place trophy was recaptured by returning champions Best Overall Chili. Second and third place went to newcomers Notorious PIB and Campaign Chili respectively. The People’s Choice and Golden Spoon awards went to Bybee Cookers (also a repeat winner in the People’s Choice category), and the Best Showmanship award went to the Cellar Dwellers for the second year in a row for their colorful display and built-in photo opportunity. 

This chili cookoff was a true family affair. Little ones were invited to decorate aprons, chef hats and baseball caps, or bead bracelets and necklaces at the kids’ table. A visit to the dessert table, loaded with cookies of all shapes and flavors, was a must for those kids. And grownups too. 

Additional fundraising efforts included a book sale table and a live auction hosted by Heather Kaspar. The bidding became especially spicy when it came to the Black Cat Choir concert offering, which sold twice. Other hot items included a one week stay at the home of Melissa Roberts and Mark Eversole in San Miguel de Allende, a catered dinner for 10 provided by Lee Ellis of Round Top Smokehouse and an evening of shopping for 10 at Round Top Village

All proceeds from the chili cookoff will be used to fund the annual operating expenses of the Round Top library. To find out more about the Round Top Family Library and its extensive offerings, visit its full website