Chili cook-off creates spicy competition in community

Hanna Flynn

Chilly days and a bowl of chili are a match made in


In honor of the late Don Weems, ULM 31 Ambassadors

club and the ULM Alumni Association hosted the 37th

annual Don Weems Memorial Chili Cook-Offff. Student

and open division teams competed against one another

to decide who cooked the best chili on the bayou.

ThThe chili tasting took place in Pecan Grove at the ULM

versus Texas State football game tailgate.

ThThis event brought out many people for both military

appreciation day and family day at the school.

Many parents joined their kids for a day of chili tasting

and tailgating.

Carley Nail

Alumni Allison Davis and her team took home the prize

for the open division this year with their spicy and savory


As an alumna of ULM, Davis was honored to represent

her university again as a competitor and winner.

ThThe judges weren’t the only ones to enjoy Davis’ freshly

cooked flflavors.

ThTheir chili was defifinitely the best and I’m glad the

judges agreed,” junior construction management major

Rikesh Patel said. “I’m glad I got to come out here and try

some delicious chili before the game.”

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity took home the student division

prize. ThThis is the fourth year in a row that the group has

placed or received the people’s choice award.

ThThe cook-offff was originally started by Tom Deal, Frank

Elkin III and Don Weems himself. ThThe tradition has been

carried on every year at football tailgates.

Many groups get into the spirit of the cook-offff and bring

the heat in more than just their cooking.

ThThe team 7308 Chili Heads went all in with their chili

pepper costumes, pompoms and ULM gear.

ThThe trio named their team after the room number in

Bayou Village during their years at ULM.

“We got inspired to compete because one of us is a Mexican

food afificionado,” alumnus Dwayne Hammer said.

“We created a recipe using barrio broth in the chili to give

it that cinnamon, Hispanic taste.”

Judging the chili was a panel consisting of community

members, alumni, students and faculty from ULM.

Homecoming Queen Raquelle Franklin and King Jesse

Drake were among some of the judges to pick the winners.

“I think the best kind of chili has rice, rice, and more

rice,” Drake said. “And of course the exceptional seasoned

chili taste.”

ThThe chili cook-offff brought together students, families,

alumni and the community to celebrate the fun of ULM

football and honor the legacy of Don Weems.