Tha Corn Man’s Recipe For Mouthwatering Street Corn

People cannot get enough of Timmy Campbell’s signature street corn, but with this recipe, they can enjoy it even when they can’t make it out to downtown’s Central Library.
Photography by Jay Goldz

Texas native Timmy Campbell grew up eating rich, vibrant esquites, or Mexican-style street corn cut off the cob, from food stands all over Houston. So, when he started up his own food truck in Indianapolis, he knew that he had to offer the dish, which eventually earned him the name Tha Corn Man. His version? Campbell layers his well-charred corn with plenty of butter and tangy mayonnaise, then tops it all with cayenne. Feel free to top yours with chopped or slices jalapenos or serrano peppers, chopped cilantro, or additional lime wedges. Or top yours as many of Campbell’s customers do: with bacon.

Timmy Campbell’s Street Corn

Makes 4 servings 


  • 8 medium ears of corn, shucked
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeeze lime juice
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt, as needed
  • Cayenne, as needed


  1. Prepare a charcoal fire, heat a gas grill to medium-high heat, or heat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat on a stove. When cooking surface is hot, clean and oil grill grates or grill pan lightly. Grill ears of corn until beginning to char and starting to soften, about 7 minutes, turning often. Remove corn to a platter to cool slightly.
  2. Whisk mayonnaise and lime juice in a medium bowl.
  3. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob on a cutting board or directly into a large bowl.
  4. In each of four small cups or bowls, add a layer of warm corn. Drizzle butter over the corn, and sprinkle generously with salt. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of mayo over the corn and spread slightly. Dust liberally with parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, omitting the mayonnaise on the second layer. Sprinkle the top with cayenne pepper to taste, then mix the top gently. Serve warm with spoons for scooping down to get all of the layers.