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WGI’s Debut at the 9th Annual UTSA Engineering BBQ Cook-Off

WGI San Antonio brought the heat as the Title Sponsor of the 9th Annual Engineering BBQ Cook-Off presented by The University of Texas at San Antonio!

Organized by students of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the 9th Annual Engineering BBQ Cook-Off took place on Saturday, October 28th, in Helotes, Texas. The highly anticipated event brought together engineering enthusiasts, BBQ aficionados, and the local community for a flavorful weekend of competition, camaraderie, and delicious foods. WGI San Antonio made their debut at this year’s cook-off, serving as the event’s Title Sponsor.


A Unique Fundraising Opportunity

The Engineering BBQ Cook-Off has become a tradition for UTSA’s engineering students, with different student-run organizations, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Engineering Without Borders (EWB), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), coming together not only to organize but also participate in the event. The annual competition serves as a fundraising opportunity for these organizations, helping them to achieve their unique goals as young professionals in the world of engineering.


WGI SATX Takes Center Stage

WGI SATX, a newcomer to the competition, had the privilege of being this year’s Title Sponsor. Our team was well-prepared and consisted of dedicated individuals passionate about showcasing their culinary skills and community spirit. The WGI SATX team members who made it all possible consisted of pit bosses Russell Yeager, Judith Mancilla, Christopher Velasquez, and Joshua Allen, as well as Jeremy Doege, Adrian Garcia, Jorge Velez, and Alexander Vigil, who all braved the night to ensure that their BBQ was cooked to perfection.

Amanda Saldivar, Erin Sandoval, and Randy Taylor were the cheerful faces of the WGI SATX booth, attracting visitors to sample their savory BBQ and the mouthwatering spinach and cheese empanadas crafted by Layla Avalos. Our dedicated team worked tirelessly to create a memorable experience for all in attendance.


Competition Categories

This year’s cook-off featured three main categories: chicken, pork ribs, and brisket, with each team aiming to impress the judges with their culinary excellence. In addition to the judged categories, the event featured a People’s Choice side dish, which required a vegan/vegetarian option. WGI SATX proudly presented Layla Avalos’ own spinach and cheese empanadas, which received an abundance of positive reviews from the event’s attendees.


Community Engagement

The event not only showcased culinary skills but also served as a platform for bringing the engineering community together. With a record-breaking turnout of 34 competitors and over 1000 attendees, the cook-off was a resounding success. It fostered connections with future engineers and established ties with firms from throughout the industry – emphasizing the importance of community engagement and collaboration within our field.

Acknowledging Outstanding Contributions

It’s crucial to acknowledge the individuals who made WGI SATX’s debut at the Engineering BBQ Cook-Off such a grand success. Judith Mancilla, the Grill Master, played a pivotal role in ensuring that our food reached perfection, with Russell Yeager generously supplying the BBQ pit and wood.

Elizabeth De León, one of WGI’s many outstanding interns, took on the role of leading this year’s event for UTSA student organizations, showcasing her unwavering dedication and passion for excellence. The Empanada Crew, consisting of Layla Avalos, Amanda Saldivar, Alexander Vigil, and others, worked tirelessly to prepare over 200 empanadas, a local favorite receiving rave reviews.

The Late Night Crew, led by Judith Mancilla, Joshua Allen, Alexander Vigil, and others, ensured that the BBQ was cooked to perfection through the night, exemplifying their dedication and commitment to the event’s success.


WGI SATX’s debut at the 9th Annual UTSA Engineering BBQ Cook-Off was nothing short of a memorable experience. And while our team may not have secured a Top 3 finish in any category, our passion for people and dedication to the event was evident to all. Our involvement in this unique fundraising opportunity, alongside other engineering organizations, emphasized the importance of community engagement and the spirit of collaboration within the engineering community. Despite the challenges and sleepless nights, the event was a resounding success, and WGI SATX left an undeniable impression with our savory BBQ and fan-favorite empanadas.

We look forward to seeing all that is in store for next year’s cook-off!

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