Texas Heart Institute Team Takes Top Prize at BioHouston’s Chili Cook-Off
On April 1, Texas Heart Institute’s “Hearts Under Construction” team proudly earned the Grand Champion Chili Team trophy at the 17th Annual BioHouston Chili Cook-Off. The cook-off is a yearly tradition that brings together teams from the Texas Medical Center and the Houston-area biotech industry for an afternoon of chili-recipe rivalry and camaraderie. Additionally, the THI team took 1st and 3rd place in the “Spicy Chili” category and 3rd place in the “Best Booth” competition.
THI’s chili cook-off team has a long history of taking part in the BioHouston event, but this was their first year to win the Grand Champion trophy. Several of the core team members have competed in the event for 16 years, first as employees of the Houston pharmaceutical company Encysive and then as members of THI’s Molecular Cardiology Research Laboratories, starting in 2009. The team now encompasses volunteer members from across THI’s various research and administrative departments.
Although other participating teams select themes and decorate their chili booths, THI stands out as the only team to stage a choreographed dance routine each year, complete with costumes. These popular performances began in 2011 with a disco-style routine to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” and have continued ever since.
Team leader Amy Caivano summed up the group’s excitement, saying, “We are proud to have represented the Texas Heart Institute at the BioHouston Chili Cook-off for the past 12 years. After 2 years of postponing the event due to the pandemic, 2022 was extra epic since the team was able to safely come together, as well as walk away with the Grand Chili Champion trophy!”
Please enjoy this year’s performance and cook-off highlight video here.