Matt Timms 

Matt Timms is the producer and emprassario of - a national cooking competition for home cooks. He's also an artist and you can see his work at or find him on Instagram at @thetakedowns and @allthebadcats. 




Autumn Stanford

Autumn was born and raised in Austin, Texas.  She founded Brooklyn Kolache, NYC's first scratch-made kolache bakery, in early 2012.  Brooklyn Kolache expanded to Manhattan this past June with a new Greenwich Village location and the original Bedstuy location just celebrated 10 years!  She also co-created Swell Dive, A Filipino Tex-mex taqueria in 2016, featuring handmade flour tortillas and white queso.  This will be Autumn's 6th year judging the Texas Chili Cook Off.  You can find us @brooklynkolache and @swelldive 










Sean Ludwig

Sean Ludwig is an NYC-based food writer and photographer with an enormous appetite. He founded the NYC BBQ Weekly newsletter and co-founded The Smoke Sheet national barbecue newsletter. Sean hails from Kansas City, Missouri, where he was raised on some of the best barbecue in the country. He never lost his taste for smoked meats and has been eating at top BBQ restaurants around the country for 15 years. Follow Sean on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook as he eats his way through NY, NJ, and the rest of the country.









Michael Reid









Born and raised in New York, Mike has taken his culinary upbringing across the country (I've eaten in known and unknown spots across 44 states!), and other countries, as he searches for the best hot sauce and natural spices in the world. No stranger to competitions and judging various crafts, he has a keen sense for peppers and enjoys a good bowl of chili! While a NY Steakhouse is his preferred venue of fine dining, he enjoys his old school diners and greasy spoons tucked away in areas only known to locals. Sometimes, nothing can make up for the genuine taste found in small-batch home cooking. Looking forward to trying all the chili each competitor has to offer - Best of Luck to All!

Robert Koziol

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Robert Koziol is a true Texan who has lived in NYC for five years. As a Tex-Mex and chili fanatic, he has made it a mission to find the best Texas foods in NYC over the years. But nothing beats a cup of good chili! Robert works for a sneaker app and in his free time plays basketball, buys sneakers, and loves to travel. SIC 'EM BEARS. 

IG: @ robertkoziol







Keith McPhail

UT Austin 1993-1996
Chili Cookoff Chair 2014-2016
New York Chapter President 2015-2016
TexasExes Chapter Advisory Board 2017-2021
Longhorn Foundation Donor Rank: 6042
Career: Media Sales, iHeartRadio
Coppell High School, 1992








Cynthia Ochterbeck







Cynthia currently lives in New York City where she manages North American development for the MICHELIN Guide. Cynthia previously served as the General Manager of Michelin Apa Publications, Ltd., a London-based joint venture. She has worked for over twenty years in the field of travel publishing. From 2006-2011, she lived outside of her native USA, five years in London, UK, managing Michelin Apa, and in 2006, she worked in France on special assignment. Cynthia began working for Michelin in 1998 as an editor in the US, and in 2002 became chief editor of Michelin Travel Publications for North America.

Dennis Bogart

A two time Chili Cook-Off judge and twenty year veteran of the restaurant business including Clancey, The Ainsworth and American Whiskey, Dennis now spends his time selling swag to many of New York's breweries, restaurants and barbecue spots. You can find him on Instagram and Linkedin.









Louis Leonini

Louis is a three-time Texas Exes Chili Cook Off champion as a member of the Heat Packing District chili team. He is a native New Yorker and Yelp Elite reviewer with a strong passion for Texas-style cookin'.