Local Chef Tries Catfish, Wins Contest

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The Brauns show the catfish they cooked and served as sope. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

Cooking meats on a barbecue pit has been a 20-plus year pastime for Uwe Braun.

The Los Fresnos resident, who came to the United States from Germany 26 years ago, took cooking to a another level by competing in cook-offs with his wife Virginia and other relatives for a number of years.

And at a March cook-off, they decided to enter the first cook-off during the ninth annual Hooked for Life Kids Gone Fishing event held outside the Brownsville Events Center.

The Brauns also entered a catfish cook-off held during the event, competing against nine other teams.

Each team was given five or more pounds of fish fillets donated by a sponsor of the event.

The Braun entry was catfish sope.

Sope is traditional Mexican dish that looks like a small and thick tortilla topped with meats and vegetables.

Theirs, however, was topped with deep fried chunks of catfish.

And guess what?

The entry took the top prize.

It was submitted under the Brauns competition name of Beerbellys BBQ of Los Fresnos.

“This is the first time we cooked fish,” Braun said. “We took first place.”

The prize included a trophy, $300 plus the right to brag about it.

Braun said they experimented the night before by cooking fish and it worked out.

Other teams competing included All Sauced Up of Olmito, Brownsville Firefighters Association and Up in Smoke BBQ.

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