Students at California Baptist University had the opportunity to taste three types of chili prepared by three aspiring student chefs Feb. 26 during the Chili Cook-off in the Alumni Dining Commons.
“I think it was a lot of fun to do a student competition,” said Grace Snider, Provider food service marketing assistant and senior sociology major. “We have done chef competitions in the past, but this one actually required involvement. A lot of students submitted family recipes that were passed down.”
The contestants were Jennet MacDonald, sophomore nutrition and food science major; Jennifer Ahlberg, freshman communication disorders major; and Emily Done, sophomore communication studies major, whose identities were concealed during the contest by three numbered sample cups.
Students were provided a ballot to vote for their favorite chili. Ahlberg received the highest number of votes, crowning her the winner of the cook-off event. Ahlberg was rewarded with a a $50 Provider gift card, which can be used at any eatery on campus. MacDonald and Done each received $20 Provider gift cards for being finalists.
Snider said the votes were counted when the ADC closed for the evening. She said the results were close and Ahlberg won by about four votes.
“I thought it went really well,” Snider said. “We had over 200 people try the chili and vote. That’s exciting to get that much student involvement.” Ahlberg’s chili recipe, labeled cup No. 1, was a more traditional form of chili compared to the others; it was lightly seasoned with just the right amount of
ground beef, tasters said.
“Good viscosity,” said Jonathan Pickett, senior music composition major. “Smell: sufficient; the texture is terrific.”
The second dish contained more spices and meat. Some students found the chili was seasoned stronger than the other selections.
“This is much thicker than the others,” Pickett said of the second tasting cup. Pickett noted that the flavor had a specific honey-barbecue tinged zest.
Wyatt Carr, junior mechanical engineering major, said he thought chili No. 2 was spicier and had a heavier taste and preferred the No. 3 chili, calling it “smooth.”
Some students who tasted the third chili said it had a more distinct tomato taste and contained significantly more ground beef than the other dishes served.
“I really like spicy foods,” said Nina Wright, sophomore early childhood studies major. “Chili is a fun outlet to explore some different flavors and sauces that are sometimes absent from other foods.”
Ahlberg’s winning chili recipe was served at the caf during lunch on March 4.