In the office, Lake Highlands dentist Ted Hume is cool as a cucumber. When the work day is done, though, Ted shows his spicy side. Over the weekend, he took home the trophy in the legendary Terlingua Chili Cook Off.

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Ted’s office is full of chili cook off awards, including an article showcasing his talent in Dental Dorks magazine. But the contest in Terlingua is the Super Bowl of the genre. Wick Fowler started the event 46 years ago in the Chihuahua desert near the Mexican border, and since then every chili is measured against a bowl of Terlingua red.

This isn’t Ted’s first time to bring home the gold – he also took first in Terlingua in 2003. And he’s willing to share a few tips.

“I don’t buy grocery store spices or junk meat,” he told me. Instead, he chooses better cuts for the butcher to grind for him, and he carefully chooses and mixes all his spices.

“Better meat and spices make for better chili. And, of course, no beans.”

Ted’s wife, Jessica, couldn’t be more proud of her husband’s new limestone trophy from Terlingua. She’s known by many in the neighborhood as the counselor at Skyview Elementary, and she’s happy to let him do all the cooking.

“She does the dishes,” Ted jokes.

Photo by Steven Doyle.