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Photos by Amanda Surowitz

Students lined up inside The Hive to sample and vote for the best chili made by Bon Appétit staff members on Feb. 25. Heather Carbone, Bon Appétit’s marketing manager, dished out the samples and invited students to take a bean and cast their vote.

“It’s a battle amongst who makes the best chili,” said Carbone. “It’s a Bon Appétit idea – something to break up the norm and get students involved.”

The recipes came from chefs working out of all of the university dining halls, as well as the retail and catering departments. With seven types of chili in all – one vegan, one vegetarian, and five with meat – there was an option for every type of diner.

As far as prizes are concerned, “The winner gets bragging rights and their chili becomes a featured soup goes into the rotations at all the dining facilities,” Carbone said. “The students see it and know they had a hand in it.”

Some students, like Hunter Eyestone, learned about the cook-off from posters scattered around The Hive. Eyestone said she saved one of her meal plan swipes specifically for the cook-off.

“I think it was an enjoyable experience. I don’t normally like white chili, but a white chili for me won. I wouldn’t mind trying it again.”

Eyestone also said she liked the idea of students being able to help determine some of the menu choices. Matt Llyod, another student who voted in the cook-off, agreed with her.

“They could do more of this,” said Lloyd. “I wouldn’t mind it. The more, the better. I love variety.”

Chef Derek Morgan won first place with his smoked turkey and white bean chili.

“When you start with first-rate ingredients, as Bon Appétit always does, it’s fairly simple to make a great dish,” said Morgan. “With chili, it is important to layer flavors throughout the cooking process. Don’t be afraid of the chili powder! What you think is enough is probably not.”