Annual Rector Chili Cook-Off Pays Tribute to Ryan Rogers

Thursday, February 12, 2015
Ryan Rogers presents trophy to 2014 winner David Cagle

In January of 2012, when the Rector Community Center committee inaugurated its first Chili Cook-Off competition, it approached Ryan Rogers to enter the contest.

He readily agreed and in typical Rogers good humor added, "I make Fat-Man Chili and it will win, hands down!" The challenge was issued and, from that beginning, the contest has swelled to 16 cooks in 2014 and a hungry crowd of diners.

Indeed, Ryan Rogers' Fat-Man Chili won the first contest by an overwhelming score from the three judges. His name is first on the traveling trophy. He and his nephews served the entire crock-pot of chili that evening and everyone wanted his recipe.

The Chili Cook-Off committee met Monday night and renamed the annual contest The Ryan Rogers Memorial Chili Cook-Off. In tribute to the first winner and the friend to the Community Center and the City of Rector, this year's Cook-Off will be "bigger and better," promises Linda Robinson, Community Center director.

David Cagle, 2014 winner, will defend his title and has said he will enter chili and have an entry in each of the new categories: jambalaya and soup. The event will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Rector Community Center. Entry fee is $20 per category with that money going to first, second and third place monetary prizes.

Sponsors from the community-at-large provide funds to run the event and the $5 per person ticket funds the on-going efforts to improve the facility and services at Rector Community Center. A maximum immediate family cost of $20 is a bargain.

Diners this year will be served from the contestant's entries. The Community Center will prepare a vat of chili to supplement the dinner and the ladies of the committee will provide delicious desserts. Soft drinks, water, coffee, and condiments, including sour cream, cheese, onion and corn chips, along with crackers, round out the dinner.

"As a thank you to the first winner and wonderful community servant, the Rector Community Center Committee wants to honor Ryan Rogers and his family by naming the annual event in his memory," a spokesman said.

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