Jessica Crawford" />
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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Cook-off participants get fired up

Frontier Fiesta’s annual cook-off returns. Participants will compete in six categories of pinto beans, beef brisket, chicken, chili, fajitas and pork ribs.

The Frontier Fiesta Cook-Off is giving trophies and cash prizes to the first, second and third place winners of the barbeque cooking competition. The competition will take place from Thursday to Saturday, and the winner will be announced at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Alumni director of the cook-off Bethany Johns said the cook-off portion of Frontier Fiesta had a small start.

“The cook-off started in 1991 and had 27 teams that first year,” she said.

The cook-off, featuring more than 50 cooking teams, begins on Thursday and the winner is announced on Saturday. |  Courtesy of

The cook-off, featuring more than 50 cooking teams, begins Thursday, and the winner is announced Saturday. |

Hunter Lewis, student director of the cook-off and communications sophomore, is excited about community participation in this year’s contest.

“This year we have a little over 50 teams participating in the cook-off. They range from alumni groups, representatives of colleges at UH and just people who enjoy having fun and cooking barbeque,” he said.

Without directly participating, Johns says there are still ways students can get involved with the cook-off.

“We always need students to help with the baking portion of the cook-off, Bake Fiesta. Students can be judges or just assist with the preparations for the judging,” she said.

Lewis also had a suggestion for students who want to get involved with the cook-off.

“The best way happens after they graduate, to come back and have a team of their own,” he said.

As an alumna, Johns’ favorite part of the Frontier Fiesta Cook-Off is the socializing.

“Frontier Fiesta is like a family reunion to me. One of my best friends, who now lives in New York, even flies down every year for the magical three days,” she said.

Lewis said his favorite parts of the cook-off are its history and the dedication of the veteran teams.

“I love the sense of tradition that I feel being involved with the cook-off. … Some of the teams who participate have been around for a very long time. This promotes a great atmosphere,” he said.

Johns said participating in Frontier Fiesta is a required part of being a Cougar.

“Frontier Fiesta is an invaluable tradition at UH. … Every student at UH owes it to themselves to come and see what the fuss is about and get a taste of our tradition and Cougar spirit,” she said.

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