Get to know Kelso Anderson, Vegan Chili Cook-Off Volunteer

Kelso Anderson was introduced to CAA in the summer of 2022 at a video outreach event. He wasn’t planning to alter his “health-motivated” vegetarian diet. Still, his view of animals changed significantly after seeing the video. That summer, he read Dominion by Matthew Scully. Shortly after, he attended his first Veg Fest and joined the University of Minnesota’s CAA student group. He went vegan to mark the occasion of his 21st birthday.

Kelso reveled in the community support he found at CAA and the Veg Fest. Spending time with like-minded people accelerated his dietary changes and made transitioning to a plant-based diet feel effortless. Because of the support he received, he was inspired to start volunteering and help others discover that living in alignment with their principles is achievable. 

After working at a food giveaway and volunteering at the 2022 Thanksliving celebration, Kelso was ready to tackle a larger project. He signed up to help coordinate this year’s Vegan Chili Cook-Off along with Brooke Bear, Erik Lillestol, Trent Nelson, Mike Odell, and Brooke Schultz.

His role involved:

  • Coordinating event logistics with University staff
  • Completing food permits
  • Reviewing electrical needs
  • Reaching out to local chefs and community members with invitations to participate

When asked about his love for spicy foods, Kelso credits his maternal grandfather and an uncle on his dad’s side. His favorite breakfast? Tempeh hash with jalapeno, mushroom, onion, and salsa. And for dinner? Roasted cauliflower because it’s tasty and light. As for the chili entries, he’s eager to see what the contestants create—bonus points for the hottest one!

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