MARATHON, TX (KWES) - It will be chili galore in Marathon this weekend.
Chefs from all over are driving in to compete in the Cowboy and Mustang Chili Cook-Offs.
Around 60 chili chefs are expected to roll into Marathon to get ready for not just one, but two chili cook-offs this weekend.
"Alpine might be the county seat, but Marathon is the heart of Brewster County," said Marathon Chili Cook-Off Founder, Elton Homesley.
If you wanna show off your chili-making skills this weekend, head over to Marathon. You can make some friends while you're at it.
"During the day in the cooking, it's always competitive. Then in the evening, everybody's friends drinking out of the same bottle," said Ken Shotwell of Beer Belly BUB-A-Q, who cooked for the chefs Friday night.
Many chefs are competing for points to qualify for the mecca of chili cook-offs in Terlingua.
"We've sponsored and have been active in cook-offs in Hong Kong and in Ireland, but they never took off really big. Those people really don't understand chili," said Homesley.
Lynn Hejtmancik has everything ready to go for the weekend. He's made it to Terlingua, too.
But what's the secret to some delicious chili? He says there is no secret. Instead, it's figuring out what you think the judges will love. If you're lucky, you'll pick up others' secrets along the way.
"Mostly around the campfire at night when people are drinking, because they kind of tell their secrets they wouldn't normally tell. You pick up a few of them. The problem is not drinking as much as they are. That's the key," said Hejtmancik.
If your recipe doesn't please the judges, it's time to concoct another masterpiece. Be it hot, mild, thick, thin, hot or sweet chili.
"I change mine up a lot. If you don't win first place, it's gotta be changed. You've gotta do something to it!" said Hejtmancik.
The Cowboy Chili Cook-Off will be Saturday, and the Mustang Chili Cook-Off will be Sunday at the Marathon Motel and RV Park.
The event is free for chili-tasters. Chefs who wish to register can do so starting at 9 a.m. at the RV Park for $25.
The money raised will benefit the Big Bend Soccer Association and Catholic Church Bereavement Committee. Last year, each charity received $10,000.
A silent auction will also take place at the cook-off and will close at 3 p.m.