At the high school chili cook off hosted by Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

Students conjure up creative chili entries

High school culinary arts students converge on Cloverdale for the annual chili cook off

If presentation and panache were all that counted, then the football fans responsible for “The Tailgater” would have cleaned up at last week’s high school chili cook-off in Cloverdale.

As it played out, the award for Best Sportsmanship went to Chris Helmhold and Adam Foster of Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam for their Tailgater Chili, an entry recreating the essential elements of a perfect pre-game parking lot party, from the requisite fan essentials of sports jerseys, football helmets and folding lounge chairs (refreshments tucked into the arms) to an impressively well-stocked ice chest filled with pop and juice.

They researched recipes and mixed and matched ingredients to come up with their chili, which relies on a bit of beer, chipotle peppers – giving it “a really nice, smokey flavour,” said Foster – and adobo sauce, along with beef, spicy sausage and bacon, which provided the grease used to sauté the veggies.

Their entry was inspired by a memorable pre-game party hosted by a professional sports team.

“We thought it would be really cool” to assemble the elements of “a great start to a big game,” Foster said.

The long-standing invitational, held May 12 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, sees secondary school teams prepare chili from scratch on small propane stoves set up on folding tables. They have a set amount of time to complete the chili, plate it, and present it to a panel of judges.

Themes – complete with table decorations, garnishes and even costumes – are encouraged.

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Garth Stromberg-Smith was dressed in khaki fatigues, standing behind a folding table loaded with genuine army rations and upside down army helmets containing glass bowls at the ready for serving time. A Seaforth Highlanders cadet, he found culinary inspiration in military history, pulling out all the stops for his Military Chili, despite the fact that his teammate had to cancel due to illness.

His recipe was based on an army recipe used in mess halls during the Second world War.

He was awarded Best Team Spirit for his efforts.

Other teams got creative, adding curry for an Asian flair or fresh seafood.

“Everybody’s making the classic chili, so we’re, like, mixing it up a bit,” said Frank Hurt Secondary student Manisha Naicker, whose team called their entry Indian Chili.

Best Overall Chili was awarded to La Fajitas by Lord Tweedsmuir’s Brianna Campbell and Hope Steves. The pair also won best Meat Chili.

For Surrey trustee and judge Laurae McNally, the assignment is a highlight of the school calendar year.

She came prepared with milk, which cleanses the palate and calms the tummy during tastings, and brought a stash of Tums for its antacid properties.

She said other judges prefer yogurt to beat the heat.

“It’s fun. I just love it,” she beamed.

The annual competition is hosted by Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary’s culinary arts department, drawing a dozen or so teams from across Surrey and nearby cities, and usually a school from outside the Lower Mainland.

This year, a high school in Kamloops entered two teams. Their students boarded a bus at 5 a.m. on the day of the competition to make the trip to the Alice McKay Building to go toe-to-toe with teams from across Surrey and neighbouring cities in the Lower Mainland.






























































Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.

Just Posted

South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

Closing submissions in case of Lisa Batstone underway

Surrey woman plans to travel after winning $500,000

Frances Jarvos bought her winning ticket at Willowbrook Mall in Langley

Crime in Surrey dropped by four per cent in 2018 from 2017, city’s top cop says

Surrey RCMP OIC sharing the news with council Monday as city transitions to city police force

Child struck because driver didn’t clear ice from windshield, say Delta police

The child wasn’t seriously hurt and the driver was ticketed for driving with an obstructed view

MINTY: ‘Opening the Doors’ at Surrey gallery with local artist Joanne Dennis

Also, a called for submissions in Arts Council of Surrey’s ‘Just Gates’ exhibition

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read