BBQ Cook Off

You're invited to participate in the 2021 Texas GATORFEST BBQ Cook Off! To participate in this contest submit the entry form and your payment below or complete a paper entry form and mail it and your fees to Texas GATORFEST Attn: BBQ Cook Off at PO Box R, Anahuac, TX 77514.

The 2019 Texas GATORFEST Cook Off will be held the weekend of GATORFEST this year - September 13 through 15 - on the Festival grounds in historic Fort Anahuac Park. Participants and visitors alike can enjoy the Festival's activities, carnival and entertainment on the main stage throughout the day. A horseshoe and washer tournament will be held on Saturday.

Changes and Reminders for

  • The 2021 Texas GATORFEST Cook Off will take place DURING the Texas GATORFEST festival weekend (September 10 through 12).

  • Only the first 25 teams will be accepted to participate due to limited space.

  • Set up space will be limited and Festival officials cannot promise each team an electrical outlet. Any generators used are subject to inspection by Festival electricians.

  • The Festival will not have oysters or alligator meat for sale at the Cook Off. Contestants must make their own arrangements for this meat.

  • No teams will be permitted to move in on Thursday. All contestants must move in beginning Friday, September 10 at 8 a.m.

Contest Information

  • Entry Deadline: Monday, August 30, 2021 by 5 p.m. OR when 25 teams have entered​

  • Set Up Time: Friday, September 10, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Take Down Times: Saturday, September 11, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. OR Sunday, September 12, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

  • Cook Sites: Sites will consist of 40' x 40' spaces

    • Spaces are limited and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis with PAID entries only​

  • Categories: Contestants must compete in a minimum of four out of eight categories (dessert, oyster, rice, Bloody Mary, chicken, ribs, gator and brisket)

  • Entry Fees:

    • $25 Categories: Dessert, Rice and Bloody Mary​

    • $30 Categories: Oyster, Chicken, Ribs, Gator and Brisket

  • Judging Times:

    • Friday, September 13, 2019

      • 7:30 p.m. - Desserts

      • 8:30 p.m. - Oysters

      • 9:30 p.m. - Rice

    • Saturday, September 14, 2019

      • 9 a.m. - Bloody Mary

      • 10 a.m. - Chicken

      • 11:30 a.m. - Ribs

      • 1:30 p.m. - Gator

      • 2:30 p.m. - Brisket

      • **All times are subject to change.

    • Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. on Saturday (tentatively)

Exhibitor Rules

***A limited number of entries will be accepted and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to paid entrants only.


  1. Entrants exhibit at their own risk. The Festival provides daytime and overnight security (Friday and Saturday nights). Texas GATORFEST and the Anahuac Area Chamber of Commerce, its members or agents, a​​​ssume no liability for injury, damage, loss or theft of any exhibitor's display.

  2. Once accepted, an entrant is committed to show.

  3. There are no rain dates or refunds (including for acts of God, i.e. hurricanes).

  4. Texas GATORFEST reserves the right to reject any entry or to remove any contestant or team found to be breaking Festival rules or whose conduct is found to be unfavorable to the Festival or its guests. The head cook will be responsible for the conduct of his/her team and guests. Excessive use of alcoholic beverages will be grounds for disqualifications and removal.

  5. All cooking teams, their employees and associates agree to greet and provide professional service to all GATORFEST guests. They also agree to work with GATORFEST volunteers and staff in a positive manner. Any vendor, exhibitor or contractor of Texas GATORFEST who chooses to exhibit an unprofessional code of conduct will be asked to leave the Festival.

  6. Water will be available but may be provided via long hoses in some areas. Electricity may or may not be available to all spots. All generators used will be subject to inspection by Festival electricians. Each team is responsible for providing their own extension cords and water hoses. Cook sites will consist of 40' by 40' spaces. Only one self-contained RV will be permitted per cook site. Additional self-contained camp sites are available adjacent to the cook off area (weather permitting), however, these must be requested no later than September 1, 2019.

  7. A MANDATORY head cook's meeting will be held Friday at 5:30 p.m. Only head cooks are required to attend this meeting.

  8. All meats and perishables must be in packaging and on ice or cold storage  upon arrival and remain on ice or in cold storage until used. All meats will be inspected prior to cooking.

  9. Contestants must supply all needed equipment and supplies. No gas or electric cookers are allowed for brisket, chicken or ribs. Wood or wood substance only, except for Cook's Choice categories. All fires must be in containers and not on the ground.

  10. Each team will be given five GATORFEST BBQ Cook Off Bracelets good for admittance to the Festival on Friday and Saturday. These bracelets are to be worn by the head cook and team at all times. Each team will also receive five complimentary GATORFEST Gate Passes for Friday and Saturday.

  11. Any and all gates to and from the BBQ Cook Off area will be locked each night at 12 a.m. Once the gates are locked, there will be no traffic (vehicular or foot) after that time.

  12. Teams will receive a Styrofoam container from Festival Officials. Each container will contain a piece of foil in the bottom. The foil must be completely concealed (inside the container) when it is turned in for judging.

  13. All props (storefronts), tents, coverings and equipment must be confined to the assigned areas. Teams should bring with them such suitable shelters as weather will require.

  14. Chicken, ribs and brisket entries: NO SAUCE OR GARNISH will be allowed on contest meat or in the container that is provided by Festival Officials. Any entries with sauce or garnishment will be considered disqualified, NO EXCEPTIONS.

  15. Dessert (Cook's Choice): Cook's choice category, you may enter any type of dessert but it must be booked on site! Entries cannot be store bought and cannot require refrigeration. Dessert entries must be submitted in the containers provided by Festival Officials. Garnishes allowed as long as they fit within the confines of the container. Be prepared for 12 judges!

  16. Oysters (Cook's Choice): Cook's choice category, you may enter any oyster dish as long as the dish is prepared on site. Participants must purchase their own oysters. Oysters are available locally for purchase from Jeri's Seafood (409-355-2243). Be prepared for 12 judges!

  17. Rice (Cook's Choice): Cook's choice category, you may enter any rice dish as long as the dish is prepared on site! Be prepared for 12 judges!

  18. Bloody Mary (Cook's Choice): You may enter any type of Bloody Mary of your choice but it must be prepared on site! Entries cannot be store bought. Bloody Marys may be submitted in the containers provided by Festival Officials. Garnishes allowed as long as it fits within the confines of the container. Be prepared for 12 judges.

  19. Chicken: Chicken to be turned in 1/2 fully jointed chicken that includes breast, wing with tip, thigh and drumstick. Be prepared for 12 judges!

  20. Pork Spare Ribs: Pork spare ribs are to be turned in cut up individually (bone in) and placed in the tray, top up, lying parallel to the hinge. St. Louis cut acceptable. Be prepared for 12 judges!

  21. Alligator (Cook's Choice): Recipe and preparation will be cook's choice. Alligator meat will be inspected along with other meats as set forth in #7 of these rules. Alligator meat is available locally from alligator farmer Mark Porter (409-267-8413). These arrangements should be made prior to the cook off. Be prepared for 12 judges!

  22. Brisket: Brisket to be turned in placed in tray parallel to the hinge and cut less than 1/2 inch thick. Be prepared for 12 judges!

  23. Trophies will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd places in each division. There will be additional prizes for the Grand Champion in each of the following divisions:

    1. $100 - Chicken, Ribs, Brisket​

    2. $200 - Oysters

    3. $300 - Alligator​

    4. Jackpot in each category will be awarded to the highest placing team entered in that respective jackpot.

  24. Ice will be available throughout the Festival on a cash only basis.​

  25. For more information on Texas GATORFEST, the rules or the Festival itself call the Anahuac Area Chamber of Commerce at 409-267-4190 or email

  26. All teams agree to abide by the following Festival rules

    1. No glass containers or concealed weapons may be brought into the park​

    2. No pets allowed in the park

    3. No refunds

    4. No swimming

    5. Festival authorized displays only

    6. Use of hand held radios (walkie-talkies) prohibited

    7. Everyong entering the festival subject to search by Texas GATORFEST Security or local law enforcement officials. This includes guest, volunteers, vendors, exhibitors, contractors and entertainers.

    8. Participation in any and all activities available at Texas GATORFEST is by choice and at the participant's own risk.

    9. Pursuant to section 30.06, Penal Code

      1. A person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411 Government Code​ may not enter this property with a concealed handgun or weapon

    10. Submission of an entry constitutes agreement on the part of the ​entrant to the terms and conditions set forth in this prospectus. Chief Cook and all team members listed an application for entry must sign a Texas GATORFEST Vendor/Exhibitor Agreement.