Winner of Hot Chicken festival shares secrets to spicy success

(Photo: WKRN)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The winner of the Music City Hot Chicken Festival is spilling her secrets.

Bindi Menon and her team, Native Nash, outdid the competition at the annual event on the Fourth of July.

Menon comes from a family of cooks and already had an interest in hot chicken before she even heard of the festival.

“Nashville hot is truly a Nashville’s signature dish, like Chicago Pizza or Memphis ribs, I felt it played in my wheelhouse because it was spicy and hot and had a lot of flavor to it,” said Menon.

Bindi Menon (Photo: WKRN)

“I started to experiment and was intrigued by it and felt I could improve the flavor of the hot chicken you by adding my own take on spices and making it true to Nashville hot but having my own flavors and method of cooking,” added Menon.

Menon, who is a native of India, said she wanted to stay true to the Nashville flavor while improving it with spices she was already familiar with.

“Fennel improves the flavor, and poppyseed you don’t find it a lot but I do use it quite a bit, especially in Indian cooking, a little cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, hot chili, from India, all of this mixed together with some sea salt is my seasoning mix that I put on the chicken,” said Menon.

Menon said she was ecstatic when she won and couldn’t believe it.

News 2 asked if she would attempt to defend her title next year.

“I am wondering if I will just quit while I’m ahead but you never know…”