HARTFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week, a battle of the barbeque broke out at a Washington County school district. The outcome? Superintendent Andrew Cook knows how to cook.

Cook squared off against School Lunch Director Patrick Kenneally on Thursday, the pair of them smoking pulled pork from their own recipes and giving Hartford students a fun competition in one of their final weeks of school. Students voted for their favorite at lunchtime – and they came in droves.

“It was one of our highest-selling lunch days in a number of years,” said Cook on Friday. “They really got into the spirit. It was a lot of fun.”

Cook and Kenneally both brought their own smokers from home, and had them ready to go as of 7 p.m. the night before the competition. Each kid and adult received two pulled pork sliders – one of each contestant’s creation. They were given tickets to use to vote for their favorite.

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Cook and Kenneally’s smokers, both brought from home, used in Thursday’s cookoff at Hartford CSD.

Cook took home that prestigious honor, and has the experience to back up the award. The superintendent’s family loves barbeque cooking – enough that they cook at fundraiser events regularly. Kenneally, not to be outdone, has participated at his share of competitions in the past, too.

Thursday’s competition was more than just a cook-off. It was also a way to educate Hartford students about cooking, and show them something they may not have seen before – namely, the two smokers hard at work cooking the two types of pork outside.

“The kids came out to us in the morning, almost like a little field trip, to check out the cookers, and we told them about the smoking the meat process, and the difference between barbecuing and grilling,” Cook described. “It was a very fun day.”

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Hartford Central School District students learn about smoking meat and making pulled pork from Superintendent Andy Cook.

Kenneally has had years of experience in the foodservice industry prior to working at Hartford. He used that experience on Thursday to teach students about the skills that go into cooking food well – just the kind of skills that Cook says are important to encourage kids to develop.

Cook wasn’t willing to share his pulled pork recipe – a NEWS10 exclusive not to be – but he said that he’s hoping this won’t be the last time that he and Kenneally clash at the school cafeteria. The pair are floating ideas for next year that include competitions for the best sauce, brisket or ribs.

All of the pork used on Thursday was donated to Hartford by Clifton Park-based vendor CORE Foodservice. Earlier in the school year, Tyson and Sweet Baby Ray’s donated their respective barbeque sauces to the district for a sauce-off, where students were given popcorn chicken, a cup of each sauce, and a similar prompt: Choose the superior BBQ flavor. The Hartford jury has spoken, and will speak – and eat – again.