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Preston boy scores chili three-peat

Carter Johnson for sidebar to Thur Back Roads

PRESTON — By adding salsa and Italian sausage, but still staying traditional, 12-year-old Carter Johnson won his third straight chili cook-off on Saturday during the annual Candlelight Ski & Chili Cook-off in Preston.

"I was really excited, yah, three years in a row," he said. "I was very enthusiastic."

This year, the seventh-grader from Lanesboro topped six other cooks to win $50 in Preston bucks. He hasn't decided where he will spend the money.

He said he took up cooking because his parents, Heidi and Mark Johnson, are both excellent chefs. "I just kind of watched them," he said.

When he decided to make chili, he and his mother looked at several recipes. He took a bit of this and a pinch of that from each recipe, then added salsa and Italian sausage to create the Carter Johnson recipe.


His mother said that Carter "has always been one to be in the kitchen from when he was small."

His chili tends to stick more to the basics, not overwhelming people with spice. "I think people like that," she said.

Carter plans to enter the contest again in 2014.

"It would be awesome" to win again, he said.

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