StrEATs Neighborhood Cook-Off

Curated by The Plaid Penguin

Which neighborhood in Charlotte is our culinary champion?

The Charlotte StrEATs Neighborhood Cook-off, curated by The Plaid Penguin, returns this year! Eight local chefs will represent their hoods and go head-to-head in a cook-off to win the title of the StrEATs Neighborhood Champion.

The competitors have been tasked with creating a dish that best represents their neighborhood. The preliminary rounds will be held virtually and we need your help selecting the winners!

Every week in March, two chefs will share dishes that they think represent their neighborhoods — and you’ll decide who did it better. The final four will go on to cook their dishes live at the Charlotte StrEATs Festival on Sunday, April 16th. From there, a panel of judges will name two chefs who will go on to the finale which will be emceed by world-renowned chef Alex Guarnaschelli! The winner will take home $500, a prize pack, trophy, and the title of the 2023 StrEATs Neighborhood Champion!


Voting for Round 4 of our Neighborhood Cook-Off is now live! Which dish better captures the neighborhood its chef represents?



Chef Clayton Sanders, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen

The Dish: Local Stout Braised Oxtail with Smoked Chili Rosemary Mustard Spaetzle and Local Vegetables

How does this represent your neighborhood? With the South End area becoming saturated, we decided to move to a bit more quiet, yet up and coming area, allowing Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen to grow just like Charlotte. We choose oxtail because it is somewhat of a forgotten Southern classic. Of course with all of the breweries in the LOSO district, we had to add some wonderful beer to our dish. For the spaetzle, we looked at the large German influence to the Charlotte community and wanted to add Chef Alyssa’s signature Smoked Chili Rosemary Mustard to the dish, and as always, here at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen we strive to use only the best in local produce.


East Charlotte

Chef Ammalu Saleh, Goodly Eating

The Dish: Layered Chapati Stuffed with Ribeye Steak

How does this represent your neighborhood? East Charlotte is known as a culinary tapestry, weaving multicultural influences from various countries. This dish represents the vast world of culinary diversity in every bite, infusing American, South Asian, East African, and Arabian Peninsula texture and flavors.

This contest ends in: 3 days, 14 hours, 45 minutes, and 16 seconds! Fans are allowed one vote per contest.
Whose dish better captures their neighborhood?

The competitors

Round 1

Chef Brandon Sarkis

Representing Plaza Midwood

Home base: Grinning Mule

Chef Chayil Johnson

Representing Third Ward

Home base: Community Matters Cafe

Round 2

Voting Open: March 12-16th

Chef Brenton Ebersold

Representing North Charlotte

Home base: Bleu Barn NC

Chef Edwin Cruz

Representing Fourth Ward

Home base: Arbol Eatery

Round 3

Voting open: March 20-23rd

Chef Joya

Representing South Charlotte

Home base: Cooking with Joya

Chef Scott Wallen

Representing Uptown

Home base: Mimosa

Round 4

Voting Open: March 27-30th

Chef Clayton Sanders

Representing LoSo

Home base: Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen

Chef Ammalu Saleh

Representing East Charlotte

Home base: Goodly Eating