Chili cook-off stirs up a storm

Emily Bouta Juice Editor

 A total of eight contestants participated in the first annual Chili Cook-Off. The cook-off was held by the University Program Council, and led by Chelsea Molden, UPC’s arts coordinator. These eight contestants competed for first, second, and third place.    

 Anyone who tried the chili was required to sign a waiver before consuming anything. Voting ballots were given out so that people could vote on the chili they thought was best. Winners were determined by how good their chili was and how creative of a name they came up with. 

 Each chili had its own unique name. Some are named after friends and others just popped into their heads. Hunter Mouw, junior apparel merchandise major, named his chili Hunter’s Famous Chili but Not Really Because It’s His Dad’s. Battling against him was freshman elementary education major, Brandi Antonsen with her chili Brandi’s Famous Chili but Not Really Because It’s Her Mom’s. Can you sense a theme? Hunter came up with the idea when he heard about the cook off through UPC, asking his dad to make the family recipe. Antonsen couldn’t resist and decided to ask her mom to make their family recipe.

 Most of the contestants had secret recipes, except for Matt Versavel. His chili Tres Carnes, was the only one that wasn’t a secret. Obviously from the name, the chili is made with three different types of meat: maple bacon, jalapeño brats, and hamburger. Versavel said, “I didn’t have a family recipe to go back on, I just started putting stuff together and hoped it would taste alright.”

 Sweet chili seemed to be the theme of the cook-off. Alex Sweeney, a sophomore pre occupational therapy major, rated her chili a level three on a scale of one to five (five being the spiciest). “I’ve always invited people for my chili, my mom’s made it my whole life and since I don’t live with her anymore I have to make it. I don’t make it too spicy, and neither does my mom,” Sweeney said.

 Next year UPC hopes that the Chili Cook-Off will be bigger, and gradually progress after then. “It’s really exciting to see us pull it off this year. Everyone seems to have put their own creative edge on it,” Molden said.

 The winners of the Chili Cook-Off were Matt Versaevel in first place with his Tres Carnes chili, Breanna Spartz in second place with her Steezy Chili, and Caleb Dirksen and Tyler Buckman in third place with Mama Mollie’s Sweet Chili. Looks like just “winging it” can pay off in the long run. 

Look out for the annual cook-off next year to submit your secret family recipe, or if you’re like Matt then you can just put a recipe together on the spot.