The Buzz Magazines 2019 Photo Contest
BELLAIRE • MEMORIAL • RIVER OAKS • TANGLEWOOD • WEST UNIVERSITY

Cooking for a Cause: Reliant Rodeo Roundup Charity Contest

Pooja Salhotra
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Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph

Russell Weil and Nichole Christoph won “best bite” with their Buzzin’ Bacon Mac n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

Kicking off the 2019 rodeo season yesterday afternoon, The Buzz partnered with Crime Stoppers of Houston for the Reliant Roundup Cooking Charity Contest. In this annual competition, Houston media organizations partner with a charity and battle it out to make the best barbeque side dish and cocktail. Russell Weil represented The Buzz and Nichole Christoph represented Crime Stoppers.

The duo’s “Buzzin’ Bacon Mac n Cheese” was voted “Best Bite” by the judges: J. J. Moses of the Houston Texans, Daniel Berg of Carmelo’s Cucina Italiana, Monique Hernandez of B.B. Lemon and Fred Gaines of Freddy G’s BBQ. 

The Buzz Magazines partnered with Crime Stoppers of Houston on the 2019 Reliant Roundup Cooking Charity Contest. Judge J.J. Moses from the Houston Texans said: "This is what the Rodeo is all about!" (Video: Pooja Salhotra)

Russell and Nichole also made a “Crime Stoppers Tipline Tequila” drink (tip: skip the tequila, use vodka instead) that won praise. As winners of the Best Bite category, Crime Stoppers received an extra $500 donation from Reliant in addition to the $500 they received for participation in the cook-off. 

Other participants included Fox26 with USO Houston, KPRC Houston Life with The Pavlone Foundation, ABC13 with Kids’ Meals and Telemundo Houston with Wesley Community Center. Fox26 won Best Drink for their “Southern Smoke” and KTRK ABC13 won best overall, which meant that their partner charity - Kids Meals Houston – received $5000 in total. Deborah Duncan was emcee of the event. Houston Texans players Jester Weah and Jordan Thomas also stopped by during the event. 

Pooja Salhotra, Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph, Tania Cruz, Joni Hoffman

The Buzz and Crime Stoppers team toast to a successful event. (Pictured, from left) Pooja Salhotra, Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph, Tania Cruz, Joni Hoffman.

As soon as the competition was over, The Buzz and Crime Stoppers team already started brainstorming ideas for next year’s cook-off. Comment below to share your favorite Rodeo side dish and cocktail recipes. 

Buzzin’ Bacon Mac ’n Cheese aka Max n' Cheese
Recipe by Chef Greg Shade, MAX'S Wine Dive, Fairview

Ingredients:  
1/3 cup Béchamel sauce
2 tablespoons heavy cream
5 dry oz. cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
½ tablespoon truffle Cream
4 oz. bacon
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz. grated provolone cheese
Salt and pepper to taste 
Juice of ¼ lime
1 tablespoon buttered dry bread crumbs
 
Recipe directions: 
In a sauté pan, add the béchamel and heavy cream. Cook over low heat until bubbles form in the center. Stir in the cooked pasta, truffle cream and cheeses. Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the cheese has melted into the sauce.  
Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the lime juice. Place the pasta into a casserole and top with buttered bread crumbs. Serve immediately.  

Crime Stoppers Tipline Tequila (tip: skip the tequila – use vodka instead) 
This recipe was found here.  

Ingredients: 
6 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate
12 oz. bottle Corona lager
6 oz. vodka
6 oz. water

Recipe directions:
In a large pitcher, mix the Corona and limeade mixture (follow the directions on the frozen limeade except substitute one can of water with one can of vodka). Serve in frosted mugs with ice or a Margarita or Daiquiri glass.

  • Reliant Roundup Charity Cooking Contest

    The Buzz Magazines and Crime Stoppers of Houston partnered for the Reliant Roundup Charity Cooking Contest. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Mac n cheese and cocktail

    Buzzin' Bacon Mac 'n Cheese and Crime Stoppers' Tipline Tequila all ready to be judged. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Nichole Christoph

    Nichole Christoph stirring the bechamel sauce for the Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Deborah Duncan

    Emcee Deborah Duncan (on right) takes a bit of the winning Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Nichole Christoph, Russell Weil

    Nichole cuts up limes for the “Crime Stoppers Tipline Tequila” while Russell chops up the bacon for the Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Russell Weil

    Russell Weil working on the Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph

    Russell Weil represented The Buzz and Nichole Christoph represented Crime Stoppers, teaming up for the Reliant Roundup Charity Cooking Contest. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • J.J. Moses

    Judge J. J. Moses of the Houston Texans said Russell and Nichole’s Mac n Cheese is “what the cook-off is all about.” (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

  • Cocktail

    Crime Stoppers' Tipline Tequila (sans tequila) ready to be tasted by the judges. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Roundup event with Jordan Thomas

    Posing with Jordan Thomas from the Houston Texans (in back) are (from left) Pooja Salhotra, Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph, Tania Cruz, Joni Hoffman.

  • Joni Hoffman, Tania Cruz,

    Buzz editor Joni Hoffman and Tania Cruz from Crime Stoppers of Houston cheered on Russell and Nichole during the competition. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Reliant Roundup Charity Cooking Contest
  • Mac n cheese and cocktail
  • Nichole Christoph
  • Deborah Duncan
  • Nichole Christoph, Russell Weil
  • Russell Weil
  • Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph
  • J.J. Moses
  • Cocktail
  • Roundup event with Jordan Thomas
  • Joni Hoffman, Tania Cruz,

More photos

Reliant Roundup Charity Cooking Contest

The Buzz Magazines and Crime Stoppers of Houston partnered for the Reliant Roundup Charity Cooking Contest. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Mac n cheese and cocktail

Buzzin' Bacon Mac 'n Cheese and Crime Stoppers' Tipline Tequila all ready to be judged. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Nichole Christoph

Nichole Christoph stirring the bechamel sauce for the Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Deborah Duncan

Emcee Deborah Duncan (on right) takes a bit of the winning Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Nichole Christoph, Russell Weil

Nichole cuts up limes for the “Crime Stoppers Tipline Tequila” while Russell chops up the bacon for the Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Russell Weil

Russell Weil working on the Mac 'n Cheese. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph

Russell Weil represented The Buzz and Nichole Christoph represented Crime Stoppers, teaming up for the Reliant Roundup Charity Cooking Contest. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

J.J. Moses

Judge J. J. Moses of the Houston Texans said Russell and Nichole’s Mac n Cheese is “what the cook-off is all about.” (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

Cocktail

Crime Stoppers' Tipline Tequila (sans tequila) ready to be tasted by the judges. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Roundup event with Jordan Thomas

Posing with Jordan Thomas from the Houston Texans (in back) are (from left) Pooja Salhotra, Russell Weil, Nichole Christoph, Tania Cruz, Joni Hoffman.

Joni Hoffman, Tania Cruz,

Buzz editor Joni Hoffman and Tania Cruz from Crime Stoppers of Houston cheered on Russell and Nichole during the competition. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

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