Hundreds of mouth-watering rib-eye steaks were grilled in downtown Hico Saturday for the 4th Annual Texas Steak Cook Off, Beef Symposium and Tourist Trap. In every direction cookers lined the streets, and smoke filled the air along with the tantalizing aromas of good food.
The winner of the local chef category and $3,000 in prize money was Gary and David Brister. The brothers said this was the first time they had entered the contest and they had even borrowed their cooker from a friend. They wouldnít disclose their secret seasoning but said it included garlic.
The winner of the professional chef category was Curren Dodds of the Letís Eat restaurant in Bluff Dale. He said people are always asking what he does to produce such good steaks and they are surprised to learn that the only seasoning he uses is salt and pepper. He said the secret is really in the grade of meat.
"For a good steak use choice or prime," he said. "Donít go below choice."
Dodds received a belt buckle and will be promoted on the cook off web site for the next year.
The event drew all ages and offered something for everyone.
The streets were busting with activity as Hicoís quaint and charming shops were open for browsing as well as vendor booths offering jewelry, metal sculptures, candles, cowboy hats and many other unique gift items.
The Brazos River Gunslingers entertained the crowd staging card games that resulted in wild-west shoot-outs. The group looked like they had stepped straight out of a western movie in their authentic period costumes.
Music filled the air all day long as live bands took the stage. Many enjoyed street dancing to The James Black Band, Tommy Alverson, Ronica Coldiron and Jon Christopher Davis. Others sat and relaxed while listening to the melodies.
All proceeds from the event go to charity.