Cabbage roll cook-off helps Mexican families

BARRY’S BAY – With the help of more than a hundred cabbage rolls, two Mexican families will have comfortable homes come mid-March.

On February 21, 10 chefs from around the Valley gathered at Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS) to take part in the first ever cabbage roll cook-off.

Chefs included Angie Pecarskie, Ben Etmanskie, Donna Marie Cybulskie, Gil Glofcheskie, Julie McMillan, Ramona Brown, Salme, Pia and Hailey Voorand, Joanne Hartwig (representing Spectacle Lake Lodge) Corinne Higgins (representing the Wilno Tavern) and Zuweri Schroeder.

Each chef made 25 or more cabbage rolls and donated their time alongside students to serve customers on Friday night.

The event was hosted by students and staff from MVDHS and members of the Family Life Christian Centre, who will be travelling to Mexico in March to build two new homes for families in need.

The idea of a cabbage roll cook off was the brainchild of Kathleen Turner, a teacher at the local high school.

For $12, people could purchase a ticket to sample one roll and enjoy salads and desserts as well. If they wanted to sample more rolls, patrons could purchase another ticket for $3.

Customers then cast their votes on their favourite cabbage rolls.

Those going on the volunteer trip have already raised the money necessary for the construction of the two homes. So, the cabbage roll cook-off was an effort to raise money to help furnish the home.

Pam McCallum, an organizer of the trip, said the goal was to raise enough money to purchase fruit trees and cactus plants for the families in need.  

The plants and trees will be planted outside the new homes as a form of sustainability for the families, McCallum explained.

After the votes were tallied, winner of the cabbage roll cook-off was Ramona Brown, who won herself a Crockpot. Spectacle Lake Lodge came in a close second place, with its unique elk-filled cabbage rolls.

Students will be departing March 6 to March 16 to construct the two homes for the Mexican families.