For a few magical evenings in late February, guests stepped into the Cotton ‘Q Club at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest (WCBBQC), and they were transported to a gilded world of larger-than-life decor, culinary delights and world-class entertainment.

Going for Gold at the Cotton ‘Q Club

As the Title Sponsor of the WCBBQC for the third year in a row, Cotton Holdings aimed to elevate the traditional rodeo experience into one of grandeur and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WCBBQC in style. From decking out the more than 10,000-square-foot cedar-framed Cotton ‘Q Club “tent” with over 2,000 golden roses to partnering with Dripping Springs Distilling, Casa Del Sol Tequila and WhistlePig Rye Whiskey to enhance their custom cocktail menu, the team at Cotton Holdings had meticulously thought through every single detail to create an impeccable experience for their guests.

Meanwhile, Cotton ‘Q Club guests danced the night away to world-class entertainment from artists including Big & Rich with Gretchen Wilson, Shane Smith and The Saints, Tracy Byrd, Mackenzie Carpenter, William Beckmann and The Spazmatics.

Cotton once again invited Houston's esteemed business leaders, elected officials and cultural luminaries into the Gold Pony Lounge, an exclusive speakeasy lushly adorned with a tufted bar, life-sized mosaic horses and crystal chandeliers, and wowed them with a menu featuring hybrid Kalugo Huso caviar from CIEL Restaurant and Lounge and luxury brut champagne from Le Chemin Du Roi.

And, of course, the WCBBQC wouldn’t be complete without some quality bar-b-que! Chef Wade Schindler and the Cotton Culinary team spent the weekend flexing their creative muscles and preparing mouth-watering dishes, like pork belly with Mission fig chili glaze, applewood-smoked turkey breast and boudin eggrolls with Creole remoulade, for their guests.

If you missed us at the WCBBQC, you can still check out the Cotton ‘Q Club and Gold Pony through media coverage from ABC13 and CLICK2HOUSTON.

Throwing Our Hat in the Ring at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

Beyond hosting nearly 2,000 guests in the Cotton ‘Q Club, the Cotton Companies participated in many more of the HLSR’s signature events.

Kicking off the Rodeo season in grand fashion, Cotton Culinary brought their creative flavors and delightful bites to the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition, during which they competed against over 100 chefs, restaurants and catering companies from around the country to take home honors ranging from the Tasty Tradition Award and the Outstanding Showmanship Award. The Cotton Culinary team served up their signature dish, the Duck Duck Crunch, a cotija wafer topped with micro slaw, smoked duck and jalapeño jam, which earned the Reserve Champion People’s Choice Award.

The Cotton team was also excited to sponsor the inaugural Guess the Lineup Contest in which rodeo fans made predictions about which artists would appear in concert on each day. The person with the most accurate guesses won an 18-person suite furnished by Cotton for one of the Houston Rodeo performances.

Cotton Culinary also took some time to encourage young chefs through an exciting demonstration in which Chef Wade taught children how to make a custom spice blend. After that, he served as a judge for the Junior Cook-off and helped encourage the next generation of culinary artists to pursue their passions.

And if that all wasn’t enough, the Cotton team had the wonderful opportunity to present awards to the WCBBQC winners on the Miller Garden Stage.

The Winners of the 2024 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest

At the end of the weekend, Cotton Holdings had the honor of once again presenting the awards to the winners of each cook-off category along with members of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo committee. Check out the judges’ results:

  • Grand Champion Overall: Taste of South Texas Bar-B-Que Team
  • Reserve Champion Overall: Rancho Cerveza
  • Brisket
  • Champion: Taste of South Texas Bar-B-Que Team
  • Second Place: Telstar Cookers
  • Third Place: Texas Lonestar Cookers
  • Chicken
  • Champion: San Antonio Winner - Chicken Fried
  • Second Place: S&S Club, Inc.
  • Third Place: RIVS Smoke & Grill
  • Ribs
  • Champion: Pitmaker - BBQ Addiction
  • Second Place: Victoria County Go Texan
  • Third Place: Calhoun County Go Texan
  • Go Texan
  • Grand Champion: Victoria County Go Texan
  • Reserve Champion: Metro Go Texan 4/Chase-N-Moore Smoke

  • Dutch Oven Dessert
  • Champion: S&S Club, Inc.
  • Second Place: Tejas Cookers
  • Third Place: Brew Crew Cookers
  • Open Contest
  • Champion: Texas Cowtown Cookers
  • Second Place: Paloma Blanca
  • Third Place: Floyd, Morrow & Larkin
  • Junior Cook-off
  • Champion: Shaylyn Keith
  • Second Place: Hailynn Speichinger
  • Third Place: Brodie Daniel
  • Specialty Awards
  • Best Façade: Desperados Cook Team
  • Best Overall Theme: Cherokee County Go Texan
  • Best Skit: BOHICA BBQ Cooking Team

An Ace-High Time at the Houston Rodeo

Our team had a great time hosting guests at the Cotton ‘Q Club, and we look forward to doing it again next year. We’re grateful to our partners, employees, volunteers and guests who made the 50th anniversary of the WCBBQC an event for the history books and who helped us support the Rodeo’s mission of funding educational programs throughout Texas.

Not ready for the rodeo fun to end? There’s still time to check out the carnival, concerts and bounty of fried foods. Get your tickets at RodeoHouston.com today!