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BioHouston Chili Cookoff

BioHouston Chili Cookoff

About 600 people attended the annual event. (Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

Bloodwork

Bloodwork

There wasn't a best-costume category but, if there was, Jeff Larson at Salarius Pharmaceuticals would have been a strong contender. (Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Imaging station

Imaging station

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Groovy tunes

Groovy tunes

Texas Heart Institute dances to a medley of '60s and '70s tunes. (Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

Campfire songs

Campfire songs

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Desperados

Desperados

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Christmas in April

Christmas in April

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Eastern flair

Eastern flair

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

JLabs, Island-style

JLabs, Island-style

(Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

Hula girl

Hula girl

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Chili pirates

Chili pirates

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Priceless

Priceless

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Speakeasy

Speakeasy

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

The wicked crew

The wicked crew

(Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han)

Previous champs

Previous champs

Castle was last year's winner. (Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

"Cell-mates"

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals went to the hoosgow. (Photo courtesy: Ruolan Han.)

Prison break

Prison break

An inmate got loose. (Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

Sitting in judgment

Sitting in judgment

Judges sampled around 30 chilis in three categories: traditional, non-traditional, and spicy. (Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

Chili

Chili

Samples waiting to be tasted.

Ready for chili

Ready for chili

Three of the four judges in the spicy category: Neal Warma of Opexa (middle), Joe Martin of the Houston Business Journal, and myself.

On safari

On safari

(Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

And the winner is ...

And the winner is ...

BioHouston CEO Ann Tanabe announces the winners. (Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

Victory

Victory

Bellicum took the top chili prize in both traditional and spicy categories, and was crowned Grand Chili Champion. (Photo courtesy: BioHouston)

Xconomy Texas — 

Houston—More than 600 people in Houston’s biotech community played hooky on Friday to cook chili and commune with each other at BioHouston’s 14th annual Chili Cookoff. The event drew nearly 40 competitors in the culinary contest with prizes awarded to the best chili in traditional, non-traditional, and spicy categories. (I was one of the judges in the spicy category.)

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals took top prize in traditional and spicy chili, putting them over the top to net the Grand Chili Champion award. (Lexicon Pharmaceuticals won first place in the non-traditional category.)

Kevin Hlavinka with LivaNova won the jalapeno-eating contest. The performance was so dazzling, the exact number of peppers can’t be recalled, according to BioHouston. LivaNova’s Speakeasy won the best booth contest. And if they gave out best costume accolades, my vote would have been for Jeff Larson at Salarius Pharmaceuticals, whose commitment to the Dark Prince included red-tinted contacts.