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Austin

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 11:51 PM CST

Updated: Feb 28, 2018 11:51 PM CST

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LEXINGTON, Texas (KXAN) --Thursday marks 15 years since the best barbecue joint in Texas, according to Texas Monthly's hallowed list , opened for business in a town about an hour outside Austin.

This weekend, Snow's BBQ in Lexington is hosting a party for all its customers, featuring live music, Bloody Marys, prize drawings and, of course, the smoked meats that bring visitors from all over the world to the town of under 1,200 people.

The pitmaster there, "Tootsie" Tomanetz, is a semifinalist for a James Beard award -- considered the "Oscars of the food world" -- for the best chef in the southwest. It's a title Aaron Franklin, of Austin's Franklin Barbecue, won three years ago.

"I can't think of anyone more deserving of that award that Ms. Tootsie," said Kerry Bexley, the owner of Snow's.

That's despite the fact that Tootsie, who turns 83 next month, cooks just one day a week after working 30 hours at her day job, and despite the fact that she'd never heard of the awards until another reporter called her and told her she was a semifinalist. "I'll try to get excited," she told that reporter.

"I can't say it was a challenge because I didn't know it," Tomanetz told KXAN last week. "I guess it was a blessing in disguise."

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People line up for hours to try her cooking. Snow's opens Saturdays at 8 a.m. and closes when they run out of food, usually about 1,000-1,200 pounds of meat later. Even on a recent rainy Saturday, the line stretched beyond the covered deck out front.

Dylan Wiggs was camped out with a group near the front of the line. "They beat us by five minutes," he said, motioning to the line leaders. "We were so close."

From Dallas, Wiggs was on a barbecue tour of central Texas, stopping at all the hits the connoisseur could manage. "I haven't slept in two days," he said. "I've been waiting for this almost two years."

Back in the pits, made custom to her specifications by Bexley when he opened Snow's 15 years ago, Tootsie rotated racks of sausage and slathered pork shoulder and chicken with her homemade marinade.

"I don't use a recipe. I just pour it all together and hope it turns out good," the semifinalist for one of cooking's greatest honors said.

She starts her Saturday at 2 a.m. to get the ribs and pork shoulder smoking; that comes just a few hours after she finishes the 30-hour week at her other job, working grounds maintenance for Giddings ISD, a few miles down the road from Lexington.

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Securing nominations is a competitive process. To ensure your application to the Academy will be complete, you should seek them in each of the categories for which you are eligible.

Each nominating authority employs its own processes and deadlines. Once you determine the categories in which you will seek a nomination, you must contact the appropriate authority to make your request, then follow their application processes to obtain one.

Since the process of securing nominations is lengthy, it is recommended that you request them during the Spring semester of your Junior year, or at the same time as you are completing your Pre-Candidate Questionnaire.

Note that regardless of when you initiate your request, the Academy must receive your nomination by January 31st. If we do not receive notice of a nomination by this deadline, you will be disqualified. Nominations do not carry over from year to year.

by January 31st.

The majority of applicants to the Academy obtain nominations in the Congressional and Vice Presidential categories. The Academy also reserves a select number of cadet appointments for nominees in the Military Affiliated , Reversible leather and suede shopper Givenchy iYMdmpFMdP
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categories. To seek nominations, first determine the categories for which you are eligible:

Each Member of Congress is allowed to have a maximum of five cadets attending the Academy at one time. For each cadet vacancy that occurs, the member may nominate up to 10 candidates to be considered for appointment.Vacancies occur when cadets graduate or leave prior to graduation. To request nominations in this category, follow the guidelines in the Congressional Nomination Request Sample Letter .

You should request a nomination from both of your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative. Each has considerable latitude in awarding nominations; however, most are based upon some combination of academic achievement, leadership performance and athletic participation. Members of Congress want to nominate outstanding individuals from their states or districts who will have the best chance to qualify for appointment. While you must be a legal resident of the state or congressional district in which you are applying, it is not necessary to know your Member of Congress personally.

Each congressional office has its own procedures and closeout dates for accepting nomination requests. Get up-to-date contact information for your senators at http://www.senate.gov and representatives at http://www.house.gov . Be prepared to identify your place of residence by ZIP Code, state or congressional district. You will then access each member’s website for specific instructions on the nomination application process, including which office to contact and specific deadlines.

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