© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mick Kipp, Firing Up the Holiday Salsa

Mick Kipp, dressed for work in his Baltimore kitchen.
Tracy Wahl, NPR /
Mick Kipp, dressed for work in his Baltimore kitchen.

In a church basement on the west side of Baltimore, there's a guy dressed in pajama bottoms and wearing a kerchief decorated with hot peppers.

His name is Mick Kipp. He's a former stunt man, survived a bout with cancer and he's now a fulltime salsa inventor. The church basement serves as his laboratory.

On a cloudy winter morning, he was at work on a cranberry salsa, a crawfish salsa and a salsa that blends cayenne pepper with chocolate.

His culinary career began when he made a hot sauce for Christmas one year and named it Cuyahoga Fire (for the river in Cleveland, Ohio, that was infamously set ablaze several decades back).

The heat in his food is a metaphor for life:

"Sometimes you spit it out, sometimes you swallow it," he says. "Most of the time it leaves a permanent reaction."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In her nearly 20 years at NPR, Tracy Wahl has established herself as a champion for innovation in the newsroom. She was among the first at NPR to embrace social media as a way to engage audiences and deepen our journalism through crowd-sourced reporting. She launched Morning Edition's first Twitter account, and led the program's early ventures into multi-platform storytelling.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.