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Destiny Sosa declared winner of RCC’s 4th Annual Battle of the Butts Competition

Culinary arts students at Robeson Community College are busy prepping for the 4th Annual Battle of the Butts fundraiser plate sale, which will take place later this week for Communities in Schools.
The fundraiser, which started in 2021, was turned into a culinary arts competition to see which future chef could create the best sauce and the best rub, to which the ‘Battle of the Butts” was born.

This year, Destiny Sosa was declared the winner of the competition with her ‘Sweetie Spice’ blend recipe for the rub and sauce. Destiny, a Lumberton native, is a first-year student in the culinary arts program, and at just 21-years old, she is already making a name for herself in the culinary world.

“It’s just something that I like to make at home, my Mom and Dad like to have a good sauce when they are grilling,” Sosa said. “I wanted to make something simple but flavorful.”

‘Sweetie Spice’ is a combination of red pepper flakes and hot sauce – to make it spicy – and brown sugar and honey to make it sweet.

“I am very proud that one of our first-year students won both the sauce and the rub competition,” stated RCC Chef Instructor James Ingram. “I am very proud of her and I think she did a great job, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

Ironically, Sosa hasn’t even tasted her prize-winning sauce and rub.

“She is a vegetarian,” Chef Ingram stated. “And so to not be able to taste it and to go completely off of your culinary feeling, and win, is amazing.”

“It really had a great taste,” stated Executive Vice President Eric Freeman, who served as one of the judges in the competition. “We tried several samples, but that rub and sauce together were the perfect blend.”

“The recipe I felt was culturally reflective of our region,” Freeman said. “Her grandparents taught her how to cook, so it comes with some of that heritage and legacy.”

The competition was open to any culinary arts student, and Sosa says “I decided to give it a try and see where it would take me, I wanted to at least try.”

“It feels good to know that I won,” Sosa said. “I never expected to win because I am still learning, but it makes me feel like if I keep trying harder, then one day I can make it somewhere.”

That “somewhere” Sosa hopes is working as a private chef, possibly in a big metropolitan city like Atlanta.  

“I would like to be a famous private chef, you know someone that goes into a client’s home and cooks for them,” Sosa said. “There are a lot of famous people in Atlanta, it’s a tourist kind of spot and from there I can travel to different places.”

Sosa likes the idea of working in a kitchen of a private home, but she says that in a restaurant setting, it can become stressful.  

“I like working with people but sometimes there is too much chaos,” Sosa said. “I feel like I can work better at my own pace as a private chef.”  

“I love to see people be happy when I cook, I like to make a presentable dish,” Sosa adds. “You eat with your eyes first, so I want my dishes to look good and taste good too.” 

 “I’m going to keep learning and doing the best that I can, so I can go far one day.”

Sosa says that there are many benefits to attending culinary school at Robeson Community College.

“There is a lot of different things that you learn and it is a good experience especially if you have a passion for cooking,” Sosa said. “When you are cooking for people, you get to show them that you care for them and they get to feel the love that you put into your food.”

There’s no doubt that Robeson County will get to feel the love and care that she has placed in her carefully crafted recipe for this year’s contest, as more than 800 tickets for the plate sale have been sold, and people across the county will have a chance to try her ‘Sweetie Spice’ barbeque for the first time.

“It’s an honor to have my recipe chosen,” Sosa said. “I hope that it brings joy to everyone.”


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