WEST (March 15th, 2014) The West Volunteer Fire Department held its 21st Annual cook-off Saturday and hundreds of people gathered to cook and judge some of the finest barbeque in Texas.
"Several of our firefighters that we lost were very passionate about this cook off," said West Volunteer Firefighter, John Hurtick.
And for good reason, these cook offs fund training and equipment purchases for the fire department.
"It's desperately needed always," said Hurtick.
The cook-off had three sanctioned categories; chicken halves, pork ribs, and briskets, with over 120 cooking teams participating.
"Seems like you hear so much bad in the world of things going on all over the world. There are still a lot good people and they are here to help us," said West Mayor Pro Tem, Steve Vaneck.
A chance to barbeque and help the West Fire Department brought many to the cook off.
"We had sympathy for the explosion, and the people and figured we'd help out the fire department raise money," said barbeque coo-off participant, Richard Layne.
Layne built much of his barbeque equipment himself, and is always cooking.
"Seven days a week, if I'm not cooking in a competition, I'm cooking at home in my front yard to practice for a competition like this," said Layne.
There were many famous cooks on hand, competing for the 15 thousand dollar purse.
"This is one of the hardest competitions to win, especially with all the people here to support the Volunteer Fire Department of West," said Layne.
But there was already a winner in the Layne family from the kids competition.
"For him to win this for his first try is very hard, and he did a really good job, and I am proud of him [his son]," said Layne.
Vaneck appreciated everyone's support.
"We are going to overcome this and be stronger afterward....When this is all said and done its going to be a better town for our kids and our grand-kids," said Vaneck.