Bojangles, best known for its made-from-scratch, buttermilk biscuits, invited the top 12 out of 4,500 Certified Biscuit Makers to its headquarters for a good, old-fashioned bake-off – the first time the chain has held this unique competition in three years. Restaurant leaders nominated the best bakers from both franchise and company-owned restaurants to compete for the title of Biscuit Maker Champion.
On Thursday, March 19, the contestants matched up in the Bojangles test kitchen. Each was given the same area, ingredients and equipment to showcase their biscuit-making skills. The competition was timed – each contestant getting 10 minutes – and judged closely by trained officials on speed, efficiency and quality of the biscuits. The judges considered how closely the contestants followed the delicate, 49-step process, as well as the resulting biscuits, in their review.
“At Bojangles, our biscuit makers go through a rigorous process to be the ones who bake our prized biscuits in the restaurants, so to be recognized as one of the top 12 across our 800-store footprint is pretty impressive,” said David Whitaker, chief operating officer for Bojangles. “This competition is truly a battle of the best – and it’s inspiring to see the love that goes into making every single scratch-made biscuit our fans know and love.”
Family and friends gathered outside the kitchen windows to root for their baker. The 500+ biscuits made during the competition were shared with the crowd and donated to Roof Above, a local organization that provides street outreach, day services, emergency shelter, and permanent supportive housing in Charlotte.
The top three biscuit makers from both teams were crowned, with first place champions receiving $1,000 each, and all other finalists each winning $500. The contestants included:
|Company Restaurant Finalists||Franchise Restaurant Finalists|
|1st – Will Smith (Charlotte, NC)||1st – Mary Thompson (Forest, VA)|
|2nd – Madison Smith (Knoxville, TN)||2nd – Edith Chavez-Nava (Yadkinville, NC)|
|3rd – Stephen Allen (Wilmington, NC)||3rd – Cornelius Smith (Myrtle Beach, SC)|
|Giovanni Picciolo (Sanford, FL)||Lori Mahan (Lexington, NC)|
|Jasmine Gray (Burlington, NC)||Breanna Naysmith (Knoxville, TN)|
|Wes Clark (Boiling Springs, SC)|
|Kayden Austin (Lithonia, GA)|
The contestants traveled to Charlotte for the competition, where Bojangles treated them to two days’ worth of fun, including a team-bonding dinner, awards ceremony and luncheon.