Harlingen’s ‘Bravest’ raising money to help

HARLINGEN — There’ll be some sweet-smelling smoke wafting around the west side of the city this weekend.

More than 68 cooks from all over Texas are expected to be cooking up some of their favorite meats and tasty treats in an effort to help those in need.

Organizers from the 5th annual Harlingen Bravest Cook-off have stopped taking entries. But that doesn’t mean the public can’t stop by to get some free samples.

Event promoter and lieutenant with the fire department, Andy Galvan, said some guests might get their chance to grab a few samples if the cooks are willing to hand them over.

When it started in 2012, the cook-off only had six teams registered to compete. Now, it has 68.

The teams vary in experience. About seven or eight teams consist of the best cooks in the state, Galvan said.

Winners will receive the opportunity to win $6,500 in cash and prizes. There will be several judging categories.

Galvan said it’s possible for guests attending the event to get pulled out and become a judge at random.

Proceeds from the cook-off go to the Burn Fund.

Galvan said the burn fund is used to help families of disasters and fires. By using the money to purchase gift cards, families are able to buy clothes and other possessions they might have lost in the fire, Galvan said.

Other vendors will be on hand selling drinks and food.

This family-friendly event also will have a kid-friendly zone, complete with inflatables.

For future events, Galvan hopes they are bigger and better.

“We want to make this a city event and put Harlingen on the map,” he said.