10th Annual AGC Chili and Cornbread Cook-off

AGC Chili Logo


The only thing hotter than the chili was the competition in the 2018 AGC Chili Cookoff, held Oct. 10 in Anchorage.

This was the 10th year the cook-off has been held, and the event keeps growing, with 15 chili chefs and nine cornbread entries for judges and tasters to sample. Broken Tooth Brewing provided several beer varieties for tasting.

Fittingly, the same person who won the first competition 10 years ago won this time too: Juanita Kardell of First National Bank Alaska. A note to other past cookoff winners: She used a different recipe to win the contest this year than the one she used 10 years ago, so don’t dig out your past-winning recipe and expect a repeat performance!

Kardell’s savory recipe was also a hit when served at the First National Bank Alaska luncheon on the second day of the 2018 AGC of Alaska Conference. The winning cornbread competitor also had their chili-spiked cornbread recipe made into madeleines served at the luncheon. That’s tradition too: The cook-off winners are asked to submit their recipes to the chefs at the Captain Cook Hotel, which traditionally hosts the conference. Event organizers said sometimes the recipe gets added to the menu at the hotel. One particularly good winning chili recipe was so popular it held a spot on the menu for more than five years.

During the AGC cook-off, professional judges sampled chili and cornbread during the competition and audience members were invited to choose a “People’s Choice” winner as well. Kardell took top honors in the main competition, followed by Joe Nelson of Black Gold Express Inc.

Top cornbread winners were Trista Stockwell of Chinook Roofing in first place and Rod Miller of NC Machinery in second.

In the People’s Choice category, top honors were tied between Lori Kropidlowsky with Ahtna Environmental Inc. and Kael Ladegard with Think Office LLC.

The people also cast votes for best cornbread, and the results varied a little from the professional judges’ choices. Trista Stockwell of Chinook Roofing was also the People’s Choice cornbread winner, and, in a surprise upset, Halcyon Swisher of Automatic Welding & Supply took home the second-place cornbread People’s Choice honors.

AGC of Alaska would like to thank all the chefs, attendees and volunteers who helped make the 10th annual Chili and Cornbread Cook-Off the best AGC has ever held.


Chili Awards

First Place Chili AGC Chili and Cornbread Cook-off
1st Place (Judges' Choice)
Juanita Kardell, First National Bank Alaska


Second Place Chili, AGC Chili and Cornbread Cook-off
2nd Place (Judges' Choice)
Joe Nelson, Black Gold Express Inc.


Second Place Peoples Chili, AGC Chili and Cornbread Cook-off
1st Place (People's Choice, Tie)
Lori Kropidlowski, Ahtna Environmental Inc.
Kael Ladegard, Think Office, LLC


Second Place Peoples Chili, AGC Chili and Cornbread Cook-off
2nd Place (People's Choice)
Joe Gelione, Northrim Bank


Cornbread Awards

First Place Judges and Peoples choice Cornbread, AGC Chili and Cornbread Cook-off
1st Place (Judges' & People's Choice)
Trista Stockwell, Chinook Roofing


Second Place Cornbread Judges choice, AGC Chili and Cornbread Cook-off
2nd Place (Judges' Choice)
Rod Miller, NC Machinery


2nd Place (People's Choice)
Halcyon Swisher (not pictured), Automatic Welding & Supply