, ,

Recap of OCLW’s Chili Cook-Off for Living Wages

Our first Chili Cook-Off on April 28 was truly a community collaboration and a big win for fair wages.

We heard over and over how each chili was amazing – all had incredible flavor and the offerings represented quite a variety.

Pro contestants: Kelby Grubbs – Pantana Bob’s; Alexis Lawson – Chef Lex; Vimala Rajendran – Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe; and Mark Overbay – Big Spoon Roasters.

Amateur contestants: Craig Romaine; Laura Malinchock (representing PORCH); Mike Madden; and Dana Hanson.

Congratulations to our winners!
Pro People’s Choice: Chef Lex
Pro Judge’s Choice: Big Spoon Roasters
Amateur People’s Choice: Dana Hanson
Amateur Judge’s Choice: Dana Hanson

Our judges were: Paxson Wojcik, Rob Landry, and Duwe Farris from the UNC Men’s Basketball Team; Carrie Brogren – founder of the Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodie Group, Jason Merrill – Carrboro Town Council Member; and our very own, Allanah Hines – Chief Culture, Engagement, and Impact Officer at Weaver Street Market and OCLW Board Member and Vice Chair.


Thank you to our sponsors – all are certified living wage employers:

Gold Sponsors: Bonneville ElectricBeer Study Shop & Drink

Silver Sponsor: Weaver Street Market

Bronze Sponsors: Carolina Jewelry AppraisersFranklin Street Yoga CenterChapel Hill Children & Adolescents’ Clinic

Thank you to the employers who came out and set up a table to get to know our guests: Weaver Street MarketLatino Community Credit UnionPORCHCedar Grove Law,

Generous employers who offered goods and services for our incredible raffle. Donations were made by: RumorsBelltree Cocktail ClubStarfish Bakery, Breakaway CafeCedar Grove Law, Vimala’s Curryblossom CafeOpen Eye CafeCarolina Jewelry AppraisersFranklin Street Yoga CenterTen Mothers FarmUniversity of North Carolina PressWeaver Street MarketFRANK Gallery

The Local Reporter offered this thorough preview of our event.

OCLW has talented communications folks who work with us. Andrea Cash is our Communications Coordinator and was integral in getting the word out about our event. Tom Simon donates his time and talents throughout the year taking amazing photos of our employers, their employees, and our events.

Volunteers are key to the success of any non-profit organization or event. We couldn’t have done this without the help of dedicated OCLW volunteers Aaron Van Son, Brian Crawford, and Madison Mignola. A special thank you to our event volunteers Craig Romaine, Meghan Kuder, and Brenna Kuder (of Cedar Grove Law).

OCLW’s incredible Board of Directors and volunteers made the event possible. Susan Romaine, Allanah Hines, Megan Overbay, Cosby Dudley, and Susan Attermeier were integral from set up to clean up. Jason Nunoo, Victoria Freeman, and Itza Salazar weren’t able to join us but were with us in spirit.

Thank you to certified living wage employers – Town of Carrboro and the Carrboro Farmers Market – for the perfect space to host the event. Thank you to Charles Harrington, Carl Freeman, Kristen Benoit, and especially Dianah L Alston-Sanders and Lt. James L Walker for being so easy to work with in planning this – plus Officers Joe Thomas and Erasmo Velazquez for working our event on their days off.

Thanks to Allanah Hines, Megan Overbay, Susan Romaine, Brian Crawford, Victoria Freeman, and Debbie Horowitz for contributing “bake sale” items.

Steel String Brewery served beer that paired perfectly with chili. And a special thanks to Cruel Country for performing.

Love Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe or always wanted to try it? Here’s your chance! Vimala has generously donated three meals for a silent auction to benefit OCLW! More information and make your bids HERE. Bidding closes Friday, May 17, 2024 at 5 pm.

We want your feedback! What did you like? What could we improve for next year? Please take a few moments to offer your feedback.  Fill out the form, and we’ll enter you to win a $25 gift card to Open Eye Cafe AND a Chili Cook-Off or OCLW T-shirt – your choice. You can also contact Debbie Everly at debbie@orangecountylivingwage.org to purchase either t-shirt.

A huge thanks to all who attended! Save the date for our fall fundraiser – our second annual Benefit Concert for Living Wages – on Labor Day at Pluck Farm.