Beth Darrock has taken a crispy victory as the winner of the third annual Durham College Lord of the Fries contest held on campus through Smoke’s Poutinerie. Students filled out a ballot choosing up to four suggested food items to add to a poutine dish.
Darrock, announced the winner on Sept. 28, will receive free poutine for a school year.
The new poutine, which contains pulled pork, salsa, sour cream and cheddar cheese, was available to students as of Oct. 2.
The contest began when Aramark food service director Thomas Watt noticed how the Smoke’s Poutinerie in downtown Oshawa had its own signature poutine.
“I thought it would be kind of cool to have a Durham College signature poutine, thought it would be a good idea if we let the students pick what that signature poutine would be,” said Watt. “We had a lot of entries the first year and we thought it would be kind of neat if we had an every year switch with what the signature poutine would be, based on the contest.”
The name of the contest is a mix of two things: A play on the title of William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies, and the nickname of the Durham Lords sports teams, said Veronica Trask, the Aramark food services marketing coordinator.
The contest is not exclusive to the Oshawa campus, as Whitby students had their input as well.
“I think it was a Whitby winner last year,” Watt said.
The contest received hundreds of submissions this year.
“I think this is the most submissions we’ve ever received,” said Trask. “We had to take out the submissions halfway through to empty the box because it was too full.”
Watt suggested the contest might go digital in the future and added the student voice is important for food services.
“If we’re not asking the students for their involvement then we’re just guessing.”
This year Lords Ken Babcock, Trevor Stephens, Caleigh Coels, Lucas Pichl, and Seenika Gilbert along with MC Chris Cameron judged the contest.
The submissions are narrowed down to the top three for the judges.
“We try to find ones that are unique… and that vary from each one,” said Trask.
“The first year a lot of people were being funny with some of the answers they put in… ‘the tears of orphans’ was one of the greatest that we had,” Watt said.
Once the winner is chosen, Trask said, he or she is given vouchers. This system has caused problems in the past. “They want to share the wealth,” Trask said, adding that in past years the winner might show up wanting twenty poutines for friends.
“We have vouchers that are singular as well as… ‘you and four friends’.”
Watt said while Smoke’s Poutinierie helped in funding the original contest, Durham and Aramark are now. “It’s not like… they’ve told us ‘no,’” Watt said, “We have a big enough budget for projects.”
Food services is planning to hold the contest again next year.