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Police chief ‘brings the heat’ to jerk chicken cook-off against RRC chef

September 10, 2015


“The Chief” faced off against “The Chef” at Red River College yesterday, as Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis and RRC instructor Tim Appleton put their culinary skills to the test for a worthy cause.

Two worthy causes, actually: the College’s first-ever Jerk Chicken Cook-off — held over the lunch hour at Bijou Park outside the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute — raised nearly $3,600, to be split evenly between the Winnipeg Police Service Endowment Fund and RRC’s Youth in Care Bursary.

The event drew close to 500 people, whose contributions earned them a chance to sample the jerk chicken dishes cooked up by both contestants – then vote on the winning recipe.

“Time to fire up the jerk pit and fan the flames of fundraising in the name of the Winnipeg Police Service Endowment Fund,” Clunis (shown above, at right) said prior to the competition.

“I know Chef Appleton can bring the heat, and I’m ready for the challenge. Between the two of us, we’ll add a little extra spice to September, and our efforts to make life a little brighter for organizations that share our vision for a stronger community.”

A panel of celebrity judges — including Paterson GlobalFoods president Andrew Paterson, Danny’s Whole Hog owner Danny Kleinhasser, provincial court judge Dale Schille, and city councillors Mike Pagtakhan and Scott Gillingham — were also on hand to cast their ballots.

In the end, Clunis went home with both the People’s Choice and the Judges’ Choice awards, though Appleton — an instructor in RRC’s Culinary Arts program, and an award-winning chef in his own right — took the Chief’s twin victories in stride.

“[This event] is truly a recipe for success, and the result is an opportunity for accessible education, as our Youth in Care Bursary waives the tuition fee for youth who grew up in the child welfare system,” he said. “The Chief is an admirable opponent, and like-minded in raising funds to remove barriers to education that will help people in our city.”