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RCC Culinary Team wins “People’s Choice Award” during Chili Cookoff

The RCC Culinary Arts Department has another award under its belt, the People’s Choice Award, which was bestowed to them during the Rumba at the Lumber Festival in Lumberton during the chili cookoff event. RCC won this title for its “Dr. Pepper Chili” which was a crowd pleaser and quickly became a fan favorite. 

“This was our first time entering, and it was our first-time winning people’s choice award,” Ingram stated. “It felt great to win the 2024 People’s Choice Award. The team and I went in knowing we had a great tasting chili, but to have the people acknowledge it, was awesome.”

The win was exciting, especially for the students.

“I think it boosted their confidence in culinary arts, particularly in the competition area,” Ingram said. “To me it shows that we are teaching and leading the students in the right direction and helps us find where we can also improve in competition.

Ingram adds, “It gave the students a sense of accomplishment in helping coming up with the winning flavor.”

And about that winning flavor…

“Our secret ingredient was Dr. Pepper, which was our sweetener,” Ingram revealed. “It gave the chili just enough sweetness without taking over, which in turn made a sweet heat chili that most people enjoyed. We also had chili add-ins that people love like cheese, red onions, hot peppers, hot sauce, and sour cream, and that made a difference too.”  

Ingram says that he and his students look forward to competing in future events, like the Lumbee Wing Competition. 

“We will be winning the Wing Cookoff again in the summer during Lumbee Homecoming,” Ingram said as he and the culinary arts team looks to defend their champion status this July.

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