UT Students Help Plan Chili Cook-Off

The food forecast for Nov. 1 at World's Fair Park? Chili!UT students are getting hands-on experience in event planning by helping with this year’s East Tennessee Chili Cook-off.

The cook-off is from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at World’s Fair Park. Pay $10 to sample chili from 30 teams.

The event is co-sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank and Bush Brothers and Co. All proceeds go to Second Harvest.

Students became involved in the event after Carol Costello, a professor of retail, hospitality and tourism management, realized that only one person at Second Harvest planned and managed the entire event.

"Since I have done meeting planning in the past, I volunteered to help and see about getting my students involved," said Costello, who serves on the Second Harvest board.

So now, students in the nutrition department and in Costello’s Introduction to Meeting Planning class are helping organize, promote and manage the event.

"With this experience I really hope to gain a better understanding of event coordination and also to take with me ideas I can use in future projects I will be working with," Ashley DePriest, a senior in nutrition, said.

Donita Berry, a junior in nutrition, looks forward to strengthening community relations during the event.

"I hope to build functional relationships with likeminded people. I’m also looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunity in gaining experience for helping to organize fund raising events," she said.

One of the students suggested making the event as "green" as possible, so Costello contacted Keep Knoxville Beautiful to participate. The event will recycle cans and bottles.

"I have been talking about ‘green’ meetings in class, and it appears that the students wanted to adopt this practice locally," Costello said.

If you attend the cook-off, sample chili made by John Antun, assistant professor, chef and director of the UT Culinary Institute.

For more event information, go to http://www.etnchilicookoff.com.