A beef and ba­con chili for the win

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - FRONT PAGE - TODD HAM­BLE­TON On­tario. tham­ble­[email protected]­media.com twit­ter.com/Free­hold­erTodd

It was the first “Great Chili Cookoff,” for staff mem­bers and stu­dents late on Thurs­day morn­ing at the new Corn­wall cam­pus of TR Leger.

And it was a first for stu­dent Kur­tis Cote – the first time he’s ever cooked a meal for him­self.

And it ended up be­ing the win­ner.

“I’m sur­prised, it’s nice to (be se­lected top cook) and it’s some­thing I didn’t ex­pect,” Cote said.

The cook-off fea­tured the hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism spe­cial­ist high skills ma­jor pro­gram at TR Leger School of Adult, Al­ter­na­tive and Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion. There were four teams tasked with creat­ing their own ver­sion of “the best chili ever.” It’s a high bar, but many teams seemed to suc­ceed.

And no­body did a bet­ter job than Cote, who was a team of one for most of the event.

“I made beef chili, with ba­con in­side,” Cote said. “I was happy with it.”

The groups of stu­dents cre­ated four dif­fer­ent chili dishes: three meat-based and one veg­e­tar­ian, pit­ting their skills against each other in what was a spir­ited com­pe­ti­tion.

A panel of celebrity judges made up of com­mu­nity part­ners was on hand, and staff and stu­dents also had an op­por­tu­nity to vote for their favourite chili to de­ter­mine a pop­u­lar-vote win­ner.

Judges, who in­cluded An­drew Ar­bic of the Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Po­lice Ser­vice and lo­cal chef Matt Drouin, were given a tour of the fa­cil­ity, an op­por­tu­nity to be­come bet­ter ac­quainted with TR Leger pro­grams.

“I’m hop­ing (the cook-off will) be an an­nual event,” said Trent Carter-Ed­wards, the TR Leger vice-prin­ci­pal. “It’s gone well. The stu­dents have been work­ing on this since Mon­day. . . there’s enough (chili) to feed all the staff and stu­dents who are here on cam­pus to­day.”

Stu­dent Ash­ley Gagne-Pa­que­tte, of Corn­wall, has as­pi­ra­tions of go­ing into nurs­ing at some point, but she en­rolled in the hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism SHSM pro­gram to im­prove her cook­ing skills.

“I do a lot of cook­ing at home – I have younger sib­lings and both my par­ents work full time,” Gag­nePa­que­tte said. “I wanted to learn more.”

She’d never made chili be­fore, but was sat­is­fied with her cre­ation. “Yeah, I en­joyed it,” she said. The Up­per Canada District School Board of­fi­cially opened its new TR Leger cam­pus in Corn­wall back in late Septem­ber, at 600 McCon­nell Ave., the former site of Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion school.

The school of­fers nine pro­grams and pro­vides ser­vices to over 300 stu­dents.

Over­all, there are 1,300+ stu­dents reg­is­tered in the credit and non-credit pro­grams in 14 TR Leger cam­puses in com­mu­ni­ties across eastern

TODD HAM­BLE­TON/CORN­WALL STAN­DARD-FREE­HOLDER

The Great Chili Cook-off first-place fin­isher, Kur­tis Cote (third from left), with (from left) Trent Carter-Ed­wards (TR Leger vice-prin­ci­pal), Tammy Cooper (TR Leger in­struc­tional as­sis­tant and Great Chili Cook-off co-or­di­na­tor) and Sandy McInnes (TR Leger prin­ci­pal).

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