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Chili cooking competition adds spice to COCC campuses

Kathleen Wilson | The Broadside

Bend and “All-Campus” Champion James Wyke shows off his chili.

Kathleen Wilson
The Broadside

In an effort to unite Central Oregon Community College’s four campuses, the Associated Students of COCC (ASCOCC) presented the “Great Chili Cook-Off,” the final event in a series of chili-cooking competitions, on the Bend campus, Oct. 26.

The preceding contests were hosted individually in Prineville, Redmond and Madras, culminating in the Bend chili cook-off followed
by the last competition between the winners of each campus.

Beginning in Prineville however, started the competitions off on the wrong foot since none of the campus’ competitors showed up.

“Although it was advertised well, there was not much support from the students,” said ASCOCC’s branch campus coordinator Kelly
Huskey, about the Oct. 17 competition. Huskey hosted and helped plan each competition.

The Prineville campus opened in August. Because it is a new campus, students may have been too timid to come to the event, said Huskey.

There was a better response to Redmond’s Cook-Off on Oct. 20, where three students entered the competition.

Redmond Campus Champion Patrick Faast poses with his winning chili. (Kathleen Wilson | The Broadside)

Redmond Campus Champion Patrick Faast poses with his winning chili.

“As small a campus as Redmond is, we had a great turnout due to advertising,” said ASCOCC Fiscal and Operations Coordinator Michael Biermann.

Redmond competitors entered the contest with an interest in cooking as well as the campus itself.

“I wanted to get involved with campus life a little more,” said Redmond Cook-Off Champion Patrick Faast, also present at the last contest.

Madras Cook-Off Champion Paula Romero. was unable to attend the final competition.

Receiving the “All-Campus” Winner title was Bend Cook-Off Champion James Wyke, who took home a prize of a pot, decorative towel, matching potholder, utensils, and the grand prize, a T-Fal 18-piece kitchen set.

According to Wyke, his winning recipe was a mix of ingredients he found “while browsing the store and left in the Crock-Pot over night.”

Although originally budgeted for $1,000, costs for the competitions ended up totaling under $400, according to Biermann.

You can reach Kathleen Wilson at



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