The Petaluma Hamilton Freemasons recently won first place in the first annual Masonic BBQ competition with our entry in the chili cook-off. We used a modified version of my Uncle Don‟s secret chili recipe passed down from father to son for who knows how long. My Uncle Don Williamson, a former State Senator from Louisiana and a 32 degree Mason, obtained it as a favor and passed it to my father Don Nicodemus, Sr. who passed it on to me. We added a bit of California flare and left out the Crisco in favor of olive oil and a couple other ingredients. After serious discussion with brothers and other family members we have decided to reveal the secret to our good and deserving brothers in the fraternity. Heavens knows it was no easy decision. I took no oath to preserve the secret, but BBQ is serious business and all those who attended the Masonic BBQ competition know that we had some serious fun at the event and I want to thank all my brothers who worked so hard to put on the BBQ competition, picnic, and free food giveaway by giving away this recipe.

Special thanks should go to Brian Brozovic, Rich Fonseca, John Monahan, and all the judges including former Grand Master M. David Perry.

Don’s Louisiana Star Chili:
1 cup olive oil
2 large white onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic
5 lbs ground beef, pork, or TVP (vegetable protein for a vegan version–we used beef)
1 Tbsp cumin
½ tsp red pepper
2 Tbsp salt
12 medium-sized tomatoes peeled and chopped
¾ cup chili powder
9 oz sriracha sauce
2 Tbsp paprika
60 oz kidney beans (4-15.5 oz. cans)

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until caramelized. Add beef, pork or TVP while stirring and chopping with a steel spoon until gray. Add cumin, red pepper, and salt. Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, and kidney beans.  Add sriracha sauce, cook for about 45
minutes and stir often to prevent from burning.