Cadaver chili wins Ag cookoff
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 14:01
The annual College of Agriculture Chili Cookoff marked its sixth year with a new location and a new award Saturday in the Junction.
Melanie Wilson, an Ag Ambassador and a junior studying nutrition science, coordinated the event. The Chili Cookoff’s main purpose is to bring members of the agricultural community and the college together, she said.
“It’s to remind people of what we are and to get people involved,” Wilson said. “It’s something that’s really traditional, too, like everybody has their recipe and they love their chili.”
This year, the judges gave an award in a new category: the Best Department. The trophy — a slow-cooker spray-painted gold — went to Michael Bishop, an academic and student services coordinator. Bishop represented the School of Veterinary Sciences with his entry, “Cadaver-ili.” Next to his slow-cooker, a piece of paper listed humorous ingredients, corresponding with ingredients actually used, including “goiters,” “intestines” and “lymph nodes” as bell peppers, stewed tomatoes and garlic.
“Don’t be thinking those don’t add flavor,” Bishop said. “Those add a lot of flavor. I went with the weaker recipe. The general public — it’s a little strong for them.”
Though making chili from the joke ingredients is technically possible, Bishop said, he doesn’t think anyone would like it. The actual recipe is a family favorite from his mother, he said.
“It is the only family chili,” Bishop said. “We like it so well, we don’t make any other.”
The Best Department award was created to stir up participation and competition within the College of Agriculture, Wilson said.
Wilson said in the past, the event was held in the Living Learning Community, but construction forced coordinators to consider other venues. The Junction is a better fit, she added, because it’s already set up for food service and Junction management was very helpful.
The panel of judges included Joyce Albrecht, wife of USU President Stan Albrecht.
“She does this every year, actually,” Wilson said regarding Albrecht’s participation. “She’s really excited about it. She’s our most regular one.”
Every year, coordinators pick a charity and donate the cookoff’s proceeds, Wilson said. This year, they chose the Cache Community Food Pantry, which is raising funds to pay off a newly constructed building.
Donald Donaldson, an executive chef with dining service, judged chili and helped with services in the Junction. Donaldson said the event went well and he looks forward to participating in years to come.
“We had a full dining room,” Donaldson said. “There were many, many chilis to be tasted tonight. I think it was an overall success.”
Donaldson said he enjoyed judging the competition and was surprised by the variety in the recipes. Despite the variety, he liked them all, he said.
“I discovered that there are no bad chilis,” Donaldson said. “There are just chilis that I don’t like as much as others. There wasn’t a bad chili tonight.”