TCAT hosts annual Chili Cook-off Friday

When the weather gets colder, the food must get hotter, and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology knows just the trick to keep spirits up this holiday.

TCAT hosted its annual Chili Cook-off Friday morning, after a two-week delay.

Students gathered at the Administrative building on the main campus to showcase their chili and scarecrow creations.

Student Services Coordinator Patricia Henderson said the contest normally hosts pumpkin carvings, but they decided to switch to Scarecrow decorations in order to remain timely.

“We have been doing this for at least 17 years,” Henderson said.

Roughly ten groups submitted chili creations this year, each one from a different classroom of students.

Judging started at 10 am Friday. Judges critiqued the chili based on several criteria, including taste and smell, consistency and texture and appearance.

Henderson said the event is meant to show appreciation to the student body.

“Without them, this school would not exist,” Henderson said. “They work very hard.”

She said the annual event serves to give students a chance to work together and build leadership skills.

“It helps students become closer together,” she said. “Both the scarecrows and chili are team-focused activities.”

Teams that placed in the two competitions received prizes in honor of their achievements, including pizza days and an entire day off of school.

For the chili contest, the Pipefitting class won third place, the Diesel Day class won second and the Machine Tool class took home first place, earning a pizza party.

There were four contestants for the scarecrow contest, and among them, the Millwright class won fourth, the Administrative Office Technology won third, the Phlebotomy class won second and the Arney campus’s Welding class took home first.

After the winners were announced, the students got to enjoy the chili they created for lunch spending time with their teammates.

Henderson described the day as a student-appreciation day.

“We are very appreciative of our students,” she said. “We have a wide range of students, from those fresh out of high school to those much older.”

She said she hopes the event serves as a way to continue to serve the student body.

“We hope this event helps show the students we actually care about them,” Henderson said.

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