A big pot of chili not only tastes good, it can do a lot of good, too, at the upcoming second annual Classic Auto Group Charity Chili Cook-Off.

Saturday’s event pits 25 cooking teams in a contest for the tastiest chili, but the real winners will be The Children’s Center and 

Mercy Ministries International Zambia, the beneficiaries of the event’s proceeds.

This is the second year for the chili cook-off, and event coordinator Libbie Rizzo noted that participation has doubled.

While the opportunity to sample a wide variety of chili concoctions in return for a $2 donation is the main draw, Rizzo said there will plenty of other activities.

“It’s really a family event,” Rizzo said. “The Ball High cheerleaders will be our face painters, and we’re bringing in Pets On Wheels, which are giant stuffed animals that kids can ride on.”

Animals also play a big part in several of the cooking teams. The Galveston Island Humane Society’s team, the Chili Dogs, will be dishing up their special recipe, C&C Chili, made with ground turkey.

Bark in the Park also is fielding a team cooking their Dog Gone Good Chili.

The Bark in the Park team has competed in other cook-offs.

“We have a core group of friends who get together on Sundays to watch football and cook,” Shannon Richardson said.

While the group varies its menu every week, chili makes frequent appearances among the friends.

For Richardson, it’s also an annual Halloween tradition.

“I make a big pot of chili every Halloween for the whole neighborhood,” she said.

“The kids and their parents come by to eat a bowl before they go out trick-or-treating.”

Richardson’s recipe was the basis of the team’s Dog Gone Good Chili, but her Bark in the Park cohorts are likely to make a few more additions on cook-off day.

“We like to test and try things,” team member P.J. Head said. “We’re not scared to put something different in there.”

Regardless of what goes in the pot, one part of the process remains constant.

“You have to let it cook long enough to bring all the flavors out,” Head said.

Their competitors from the Galveston Island Humane Society are counting on both their recipe for turkey chili and their booth decorations to win over votes in the crowd favorite category.

“We’ll have photos of the dogs and cats available for adoption, and were offering a discount on adoption for people who come to the chili cook-off,” Human Society director Caroline Dorsett-Pate said.

Dorsett-Pate said the discount would apply to the shelter’s other adoptees as well.

“Currently we have two rats, a hamster and a bunny rabbit that also need good homes,” she said. “We even had a chicken last week, but we found a home for it.”

The Charity Chili Cook-off was the brainchild of Classic Car Group Galveston owner Howie Bentley, who has also been rounding up items for the cook-off’s silent auction from the Houston Texans.

“We have a jersey and football signed by J.J. Watt and items from Brian Cushing, Andre Johnson, Ben Tate and Matt Schaub,” he said.

At a glance

WHAT: Second annual Classic Auto Group Charity Chili Cook-Off

WHEN: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Classic Car Group Galveston, 8020 Broadway, in Galveston

COST: Admission is $2; beer, wine, soft drinks, sausage and hot dogs will be available for purchase

BENEFITS: The Children’s Center and Mercy Ministries International Zambia

DETAILS: Cook-off begins at 3 p.m.; live music from The Line Up is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Zumba is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dog Gone Good Chili

SERVES: 15-20

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 pounds round steak or London Broil, cubed small
  • 4 fresh jalapeños, sliced thin
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 4 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle peppers
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 2 bottles Guinness Stout
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained
  • Chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste
  • Worcester sauce, Liquid Smoke, Kitchen Bouquet and/or Tabasco, to taste

Put the beef broth, Guinness and Rotel tomatoes in a large stock pot and bring to boil.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and cube steak. Drain the drippings and add the meat to the boiling liquid. Lower heat and simmer for an hour.

Sauté the chopped vegetables in a little olive oil and add to the simmering mixture.

Slowly spoon in the tomato paste until mixed and it thickens sauce.

Add the beans, dry seasonings, liquid seasonings and chopped cilantro.

Let simmer for at least 30 more minutes.

(SOURCE: Recipe provided by Bark in the Park chili team cooks

Shannon Richardson and P.J. Head)

C&C Chili


  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 dried red chili peppers
  • 4 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 can jalapeño pinto beans, optional

Brown the turkey in a skillet with the onions and garlic. When cooked, add the Rotel tomatoes and tomato sauce and simmer.

Mix all of the dried ingredients in a small bowl and add to the meat mixture.

Add water to cover the mixture by about 1⁄2 inch. 

Stir well, cover and simmer at least 1 1⁄2 hours, stirring regularly. Add the beans in last hour, if using.

(SOURCE: Recipe provided by The Chili Dogs cooking team from the Galveston Island Humane Society)


(1) comment

Robert Buckner

What a great event . People and our four-legged friends stand to benefit. It looks to be a fun family day.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.