Candace McClendon has been a dedicated biscuit-maker at the Matthews Bojangles’ for almost eight years.
And for the third time, she’ll compete Nov. 13 to 15 in the annual Bojangles’ Master Biscuit Maker Challenge. Fellow Matthews biscuit makers Vahid Emadi and Monica Andrade who work with McClendon at the 11137 E. Independence Blvd. store also will compete. No bakers from Bojangles’ store off Lawyers Road near Mint Hill were selected.
Bojangles’ offers team members from its more than 520 restaurants a chance to win prizes and bragging rights as they battle it out during the challenge. Each company-owned Bojangles’ restaurant in the area will send its best biscuit makers, previously determined by store-level competitions, to the Master Biscuit Maker regional finals. This year, 30 area biscuit makers were selected to compete in the Charlotte regional finals. Winners of the Charlotte regional finals will have a chance to compete against team members from other Bojangles’ restaurants in the finals hosted by Bojangles’ corporate office in Charlotte at the company’s Support Center off Southern Pine Boulevard. The finals take place Nov. 13 and 14.
“Bojangles’ prides itself on offering customers the best biscuits around — made from scratch and always fresh,” Bojangles’ Area Director Rich Adams said in a news release. “The Master Biscuit Maker Challenge gives us a chance to come together and celebrate the importance of a perfect Bojangles’ biscuit. The prizes aren’t the biggest motivator to succeed in the competition; instead, it’s the bragging rights. ”
McClendon said cash prizes are also earned at the competition, with the Master Biscuit Maker receiving a trophy and $1,000. All team members who compete receive a trophy or plaque along with $250.
“It feels awesome to be selected again,” she said of the upcoming competition. “It’s always fun to have other people stand outside the window and watch you compete.”
McClendon works 50 hours a week, 10 hours at a time, often coming in at 6 a.m. to make biscuits. She also serves as a manager at the Matthews eatery.
McClendon said her only strategy for the competition is speed. The Matthews restaurant makes more than 500 biscuits each day.
“I basically do the procedure and then the more you do it, the quicker you get at it,” she said.
The competition will judge biscuit makers on using the correct tools, combination of ingredients and proper mixing; completion of the 18-step rolling process and 11-step cutting process; proper baking; and biscuit taste, height, diameter and appearance.