Cooking labs are a huge part of how students in Debbie Andry’s nutrition and wellness class learn and participate throughout the year. One way Andry incorporates this hands-on learning experience is through hosting a Chili Cook-Off.
“I really love the Chili Contest because it allows them to show their preferences, creativity, and allows them to be critiqued,” said Andry.
For this event, the students pick their own recipes and prepare it in their kitchen. Participants drew inspiration from cookbooks, online and Andry to find a recipe. Two classes cooked in the event, and each class had different judges.
In one class, the judges were Special Education assistant Christy Kersey, technology coordinator Robin Richardson and sophomore Andrew Benales. After tasting all five chilies from the class, the judges chose sophomore Carson Little and freshman Issac McBride for first place.
The judges for the second class were seventh grade teacher Jason Poe, family and consumer science teacher Danelle Manship, JAG teacher Katie Cook and sophomore Sawyer Livingston. The winners of first prize were freshman Hailey Newlan, sophomore Rori Doyle and seniors Megan Poe and Dakota Dawson.
“Usually we are one of the last kitchens who get done, I am glad we had gotten the chance to win and I am very proud of myself and my kitchen,” said senior Dakota Dawson.
Andry and her classes felt the Chili Cook-Off was a success and are happy with the results.
“Overall, I think this was a great experience for the kids, this is just a fun way for kids to open and have fun and for them to pick their own recipes instead of me picking them for them,” said Andry.
Story by Corinne Magner