For the past eight years, the Cotton Companies have participated in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s pre-rodeo events, including the Best Bites Competition and the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest (WCBBQC). However, this year, our participation was taken to the next level as we were selected to be the Title Sponsor of the WCBBQC. As a Houston-born company, this title is truly an honor and we’re proud to be a part of the Rodeo’s mission to support Texas youth.

During the weekend of February 24 - 26, over 250 teams of barbecue aficionados and 158,215 supporters gathered at the Rodeo cook-off, sponsored by Cotton Holdings. Each night, the chilly air at NRG Park was filled with the sweet smells of brisket and the sounds of Texas country music. No matter where you stood, you were embraced by the culture of the Lone Star State. And the best part? It was all for a great cause.


While scoping out the scene on Committee Way, attendees came across the Cotton ‘Q Club, a grand tent with a “cowboy chic” vibe that was exploding with energy. Inside the equestrian-themed space was a plaid floor, a 50-foot bar tufted in green velvet, crystal and antler chandeliers, taxidermy heads, and various floral arrangements. No detail was overlooked, including the cocktail stirrers, napkins, hand sanitizer, and the bartenders’ attire – all sporting the polo theme.

To help us kick off the weekend, several local personalities stopped by Thursday night and danced the night away to our special musical guests, Cooper Wade and Grammy-nominated band, Midland. Catch a glimpse of their experience on KHOU 11, KPRC 2, and CultureMap. For the remainder of the nights, our friends and family members enjoyed singing along to Texas artists like Randall King, Matt Moeller, Hayden Baker, and the Spazmatics.

Every night, visitors were treated to the irresistible aroma of delectable appetizers, entrees, and desserts created by Cotton Culinary. The menu, which changed each night, celebrated our state’s diversity with items like brisket, fajitas, fried alligator, and the award-winning Figgy Piggy.


After two days of 2-stepping and barbecue tastings, it was time for the judges to announce the winners for each cook-off category. Cotton Holdings CEO, Pete Bell, and Russell White, EVP of Cotton Global Disaster Solutions, had the pleasure of presenting the trophies, along with members of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo committee. See below for the results of this year’s competition!


  • Champion – Cowboys 4
  • Heroes Second Place – Jasper County Go Texan
  • Third Place – Fayette County


  • Champion – Brew Crew Cookers
  • Second Place – San Patricio County Go Texan
  • Third Place – Letsos Pan-Handlers


  • Champion – Gettin Sauced Cookers
  • Second Place – Goliad County Go Texan
  • Third Place – Los Gallos

Go Texan

  • Grand Champion – Jasper County Go Texan
  • Reserve Champion – Metro Go Texan 2/Q’ston Barbecue

Dutch Oven Dessert

  • Champion – Willis Group – Pecan Pie Cheesecake
  • Second Place – Rusty’s Smoke BBQ – Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Third Place – NRG Energy, Inc. – Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Open Contest

  • Champion – Clifton Chevy Cookers, LLC – Seafood Surprise
  • Second Place – Cotton Q Club – Q Club Surf & Turf
  • Third Place – Ritch’s Raiders – Steak & Lobster

Jr. Cook-off

  • Champion – RJ Fite, Asleep at the Grill
  • Second Place – Raelyn Barker, Circle D-A Cookers
  • Third Place – Vince Martinez, Metro Go Texan 3/Midnight Mavericks

Specialty Awards

  • Best Façade – Cotton Club Go Texan
  • Best Façade – Brazos County
  • Best Overall Theme – Over the Hill Gang Go Texan
  • Best Overall Theme – Mills County

On behalf of the entire Cotton Team, congratulations to all of the winners, including our very own Cotton ‘Q Club!

We are proud to have received Best Facade for our creative and unique exterior. Additionally, Executive Chef Wade’s “City Meets Country” Surf & Turf dish wowed the judges and won the Cotton ‘Q Club 2nd Place in the Open Contest. His culinary piece consisted of two 45-year aged Wagyu steaks, one seared with brown butter, garlic, rosemary and thyme, and the “Country” steak chargrilled on an open flame. Both were plated and topped with a shallot ring hay and a butter-poached lobster.


Overall, it was an unforgettable weekend at NRG Park and we look forward to doing it all again next year! Thank you to all of the volunteers, barbecue teams, and attendees for contributing to the Rodeo’s mission of supporting Texas youth and conserving our traditions. Without you, none of this would be possible.

While the WCBBQC may be over, there are still tons of rodeo activities for you to enjoy this month, including carnival rides, delicious food, and incredible concerts. Visit RodeoHouston.com for a full schedule and to buy your tickets today!

Cotton ‘Q Club at the 2022 RODEOHOUSTON World’s Championship BBQ Contest Recap Video