Cook-off keeps tradition alive on campus

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Cook-off keeps tradition alive on campus

Misisipi Bhandari, [email protected]

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31 Ambassadors welcomed the fall chill in Monroe with its 34th annual Chili Cook-off at the Grove.
This year’s cookoff had 22 teams competing against each other, many of which were returning from previous years.
Scott Coons and Chase Murphy represented Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity for the fifth time in a row at the event.
“It is a great experience. We like coming out here and interacting with everyone. It’s mine and my fraternity brothers’ favorite thing to do.”
Pi Kappa Alpha took home this year’s People’s Choice Award.
“We have been winning the ‘Student Division’ and ‘People’s Choice’ awards for the last two years. This year there was no Student Division award,” said Murphy, a ULM alumna.
The annual cook-off is organized during a football game every fall semester in the memory of late Don Weems, who first started the tradition. This year, the teams were judged in five different categories: first place, second place, third place, People’s Choice and Showmanship.
“It’s a fun time due to games going on, and food also changes the game’s atmosphere. It’s something fun that 31 Ambassadors puts on every year,” said Maurie Weldon, president of 31 Ambassadors.
Red Hot Drunk Chili, a team of pre-pharmacy and pharmacy students bagged the first prize this year.
“I would like to thank God. It is a good day. We are loving hanging out with our friends and alumni here. It is our first time participating as a team, so everyone did a great job,” said Seth Blankenship, a pre-pharmacy major.
The winners for second and third place were Smokeshow Coolhouse Chili and Blue Fin, respectively.
Blackwoods Bayou Brewhouse won the best Showmanship for the event.
“Being in this environment is great. We are group of different agencies putting together this stall, and we are loving it,” said Ree McCain.
Students and members could get tasting cups for a $1 to taste test the chili from every team and vote for their favorite teams.