EL PASO, TX—Native Texan and chili chef Jerry Gerber, 41, said he has been suffering a palpable sense of melancholy ever since the 17th Annual Five-Alarm Chili Cook-Off on Feb. 28 ended. "Spend all year gittin' together the hottest, rootin'-tootinest, mule-kickinest chili this side of the Rio Grande, and whadya git fer yer troubles?" Gerber said Tuesday. "Shucks, you eat it and then you're all hat and no horse." In lieu of seeking professional help, Gerber said he plans to force himself back into the saddle by beginning work on his entry for the Texas Beef Council Steak-A-Thon in June.