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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Life + Arts

Cougar Cookers kick off with cook off


 

Billie Schneider (front right) organized one of the most successful cook-off teams in Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s history. The team was founded in 1991 with the help of UH graduates Lynn Houston, Rick and Janet Cherrington, Rusty Uhyrek and Glenn Lilie. | Photo courtesy of Katie Lauren Smith

Billie Schneider (front right) organized one of the most successful cook-off teams in Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s history. The team was founded in 1991 with the help of UH graduates Lynn Houston, Rick and Janet Cherrington, Rusty Uhyrek and Glenn Lilie. | Photo courtesy of Katie Lauren Smith

For UH alum Billie Schneider, her rodeo-life revolves around the Cougar Cookers Barbecue Cook-off team and scholarships for UH students.

“We want to show our appreciation to the HLS&R for their scholarships awarded UH students,” Schneider said. “Thanks to all our donors and the many volunteers that help support our endowment for UH student scholarships.”

Billie Schneider retired from UH’s alumni affairs office in 1990, but organized one of the most well-respected and successful cook-off teams in Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s 79-year history. UH Bauer College of Business stand-out Glenn Lilie, Class of ‘68, founded the team 20 years ago.

“Billie inspires a great work ethic in everyone she touches — from the athletic department to the business school, she has really contributed to UH and she loves it,” Lilie said.

She put Ben Dodson, Class of ‘75, Jim Sharples, Class of ‘72, and Clyde Sloan, Class of ‘68, on the early shift Saturday to prepare for the afternoon siege.

Hungry Cougars descended promptly at 3 p.m., but with the oversight of chairman Lynn Houston, all was ready. Houston heads up Southwest Securities when he’s not slicing brisket.

Houston graduated from UH with a degree in accounting in 1968.

“The most gratifying part of serving on the University of Houston team is that we have a consistent group of volunteers we count on each year,” Houston said. “Each person does their job and it now works like a well-oiled machine. We plan to have Shasta join us next year. Each year, we have more and more students involved.”

On opening night, the Cougar Cookers honored UH President Dr. Renu Khator and her husband Suresh, Katina Jackson, Mike Pede, Molly Alvey, James Dickey, Kevin Sumlin, Todd Whitting and Judie and Glenn Lilie.

Dr. Khator had such a good time that she asked her assistant, Theresa Singletary, to put an annual hold on her calendar for the event.

As the last strains of Waylon and Willie were being played in the 120 by 40 foot Cougar Cookers tent, 2600 plates of barbecue had been served, thanks to volunteers like Rick Cherrington, Janet Cherrington and Rusty Uhyrek.

Class of ‘06 Brian Royo, Co-Chief of the Cougar Cookers, plans the menu with Peter Schubert, Executive Chef of St. Luke’s Sugarland Hospital from UH Class of ‘88.

This year, they prepared 90 briskets, 25 cases of ribs, 300 pounds of sausage, 260 pounds of chicken breasts, 150 cases of corn, 200 pounds of boiled potatoes and 300 pounds of potato salad.

Schubert is chairman of the Board of the Tau Kappa Epsilon alumni network.

The cooking team has a number of members, which includes Chris Menendez, Ian Estrada, and Rob Bartlett Owen, a Petroleum Land Management graduate with the UH Class of 1977. Other members include James Dean, a natural science and mathematics major from the Class of ‘77, and Chris Vaughn, Ian Estrada and Ryan Hottman, who all belong to the class of 2006.

Royo, along with his Czech and German partners, will open a new venture in Katy called No Label Brewing Co. (We don’t need no stinkin’ labels).

Many of the cooking squad grillers belong to the TKE fraternity and contribute to the TKE Cookers scholarship fund. Completed scholarship application should be mailed to: TKE Cookers Scholarship Committee, University of Houston Alumni Association, P.O. Box 230345, Houston, TX 77223-0345.


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