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Family chicken wings recipe leads to TV's ‘Great Food Truck Race’
Kevin Pettice of Charlotte on Food Network show
Published Wednesday, July 25, 2018 11:44 am
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Kevin Pettice of Charlotte, left, with teammates Sharon Shvarzman and Steven Crowley, are contestants on Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”

Kevin Pettice isn’t done with Food Network.

A season 12 alumnus from “Worst Cooks in America,” the native Charlottean heads back on screen for season nine of “The Great Food Truck Race,” which premieres July 26 at 9 p.m. and culminates with a grand prize award of $50,000 on the Aug. 30 season finale.

Pettice, Sharon Shvarzman and Steven Crowley teamed up for one of seven food trucks competing this season. Their recipe for success—a chicken wing recipe that has been passed down through Pettice’s family, and a food truck called Just Wing It. The objective: sell as much as you can, or get kicked off the wagon.

While Pettice is attending graduate school at Florida International University, pursuing a master’s degree in hospitality management, the trio reunited from their days on “Worst Cooks” for a shot at “The Great Food Truck Race.”

“We said, ‘what can we do that is efficient and probably cheap?’” Pettice said. “I said, ‘y’all, my mama has a mean chicken recipe.’ That’s where we thought up the whole concept. The wings come from my grandma [Geraldine Raines], and then it was passed down to my mom, [Vergie James]. My mom doctored them up, and made them her own. Then she gave them to me, and said, ‘here you go. This is the recipe.’”

Pettice’s trick with the chicken is to cook it a little bit longer.

“I tried to find little things to doctor them up myself,” Pettice said. “It’s a family recipe that’s been through three generations. We’re going to get it right.”

Pettice, who was born at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, and a 2011 graduate of Northwest School of the Arts, found his professional path at Livingstone College in Salisbury.

“While at Livingstone, I met a hospitality director who told me to shoot for the stars,” Pettice said. “I know that sounds cliché, but a lot of adults when you get to college don’t really speak into your life as they need to, but she actually did. She said, ‘baby, you can do whatever you want, wherever you want.’”

That advice led him through several internships at Walt Disney World, as well as a position at Livingstone after he graduated.

“After three consecutive Disney internships, I came back and graduated undergrad, and went back to Disney to work for a year,” Pettice said. “While I was working at Livingstone, I had applied to do ‘Worst Cooks.’ I said, ‘let me try and go learn how to cook.’ My cooking journey hasn’t been too long in the making—got eliminated on the second episode of ‘Worst Cooks.’ I’ve been cooking for a few years now after ‘Worst Cooks.’”

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