What’s Matt Olin doing on a typical Wednesday in September? If you guessed, “Judging a chili cookoff alongside a Beard Award-winning baker and a city councilmember,” damn that was a good guess. After pushing through the meat sweats, the winner of Charlotte Center City Partners’ Second Annual Staff Chili Cook-Off was crowned: Carlin Kennedy, Historic South End’s new Programs Coordinator. The Biscuit landed an exclusive interview with the chili champ … and also pilfered Grandma’s secret recipe.
How long has this chili recipe been in your family?
Apparently my grandmother created the secret spice herself and eventually made this recipe her own as time went by. Unsurprisingly, her ribs and chicken (which also use this secret spice) always turn out to be amazing.
You’re new to CCCP. How do you intend to lord this “Chili Champion” achievement over your new coworkers?
This is my first time winning a culinary event. Surprisingly, I don’t cook very often! With that being said, I’m in a tough position being new with this crowd. I MUST make a big deal about this, but how much is too much? Guess we’ll see in the coming weeks…
What are your favorite restaurants in the Queen City…and a menu choice from each?
- Barcelona Wine Bar: Potatas Bravas + Brussel Sprouts (and every drink they have on menu)
- Ruru’s – You’re going the wrong way taco
- Alexander Michaels – Honey Chicken Pasta
- Does Jeni’s count? Because I will never not love their Gooey Butter Cake ice cream with a waffle cone piece on the side.
- Brown 4 lbs. ground beef
- Add 3 medium onions chopped
- Chili Seasoning
(Grandma left some of her own, but didn’t entirely disclose what was in it)
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Add pepper (lots)
- Add 4 cans of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes + green chilies (drained)
- Add medium jar of Tostito’s hot chunky salsa
- Add 1 box of chicken broth
- Add red/black/pinto beans
- Add a hint of chow chow for a sweet taste at the end!
- Bring everything to a boil + EAT!
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