RodeoHouston kicks off with World’s Championship BBQ Cookoff

HOUSTON, Texas – It’s time to rodeo in Houston!

The official kickoff to the nearly month of Houston Rodeo events is underway. More than 250 chefs are competing in the 2024 World’s Championship BBQ Cookoff at NRG Park.

Annually, more than 200,000 people flock to the finger-licking good tents scattered across the parking lot feasting both their eyes and stomach’s on some of the best BBQ in the world.

“This is 20 days of rodeo, three days of some of the best barbecue and excitement and people watching you’ve ever seen in your life,” said Steven Brown of Lonesome Dove Cookers. “It’s pure excitement. It’s nothing like I have people coming in from all over the United States. They’ve never seen anything like this. This is amazing.”

From ribs to brisket and everything else you can fit on your plate, chefs are serving up plates while fine turning their work for the judge’s pallets.

They have three days, starting Thursday, to cook up their best work.

At Lonesome Dove Cookers, the judges last year rewarding the group with first place in the open category.

It’s awesome because you work all year long to get to this point and that’s what you want. Yeah, this this is the cook off of the cook off,” said Lonesome Dove Cookers head chef Robert Vasquez.

Their tent is just of the more than 250 serving up their signature meats for empty bellies.

“We got brisket, we got turkey breast, we got pork belly, we got ribs, loaded potatoes, creamed corn,” he said.

“Everyone’s trying to show just what they can cook. Digging up something from the back and saying, oh watch this,” Brown added.

The World’s Championship BBQ Cookoff continues through Saturday.

Then, cookers will tear down their tents and move out to make way for the Houston Rodeo, which starts February 27.

About the Author

Gage Goulding is an award-winning TV news reporter and anchor. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, he comes to Texas from Fort Myers, FL, where he covered some of the areas most important stories, including Hurricane Ian.

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