BRAWLEY — Western culture runs deep here: Like miners guarding a claim, chili recipes in families for generations are proprietary and it is fitting the cook-off kick starts a week of events leading to up the rodeo.

The 31st Chili Cook-Off pitted 12 local teams in friendly competition, expecting to draw a record crowd of 6,000. Beyond sweating over a hot kettle, there is a lot work invested in booth presentation and some have T-shirts made up with their logo, noted Liz Gonzales, president of the Brawley Chamber of Commerce. “I like the cook-off because it brings residents of this town together,” said Gonzales. “And we get to see old friends and make new ones.”

Staff Writer William Roller can be reached at or 760-337-3452.

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