2021 Honoree

Dorene Ritchey

Chili was a lifelong favorite of the Ritchey Family, but it became a favorite past time when Ranger Bob Ritchey discovered Chilympiad – the biggest chili cookoff in the world.  This was the beginning of a long line of Ritchey events in the Chili Competition world.  The 5R Chili recipe was born from a family of chili cooks – Ranger Bob, Wes, Dorene, Russell and Jeff. 

The accolades list is varied from many of the long-time favorite cook offs but topped by Dorene.  She perfected the 5R recipe over the years and was always ready to teach someone new how it’s done. The first time I met Dorene, she handed me a chili pot and told me “to stand right here and I will show you how”.  That’s how I got added to the Ritchey chili family.

Dorene was known and loved by many.  Ranger Bob started the journey, but she led the path for many years.

Ladies State was one of her favorite cookoffs. She won Ladies State in 1992 and 2003 as well as the tournament of champions in 2003. 

Terlingua World International Chili Cookoff she won in 1986, 1991, 1992 and 1997

The rest of the clan were all involved in the chili cooking craze and had some notable wins in Texas Open – Men’s State, Chilympiad, Czhilispiel, Ladies State, Terlingua, local community events and many others.

She helped a few other cooks along the way that have wins of their own.  She loved the chili world  – may her legacy live on through all the lives she touched like she touched mine.

Dani Ritchey