On September 15, 2017, five friends got a taste of the excitement and flurry surrounding the Whole Hog Barbecue Series when they decided at the last minute to form an all-woman team and enter their first Whole Hog Barbecue Series competition, Clayton Squealin’ on the Square, just one week before the competition was set to take place.
In the week before competition, team Bling and Sting faced numerous challenges to overcome while their seasoned competitors embarked on their tried and true preparatory rituals. Not only were they the only all-female team competing against 14 male teams, four out of the five women had never competed in a barbecue cook off, let alone a Whole Hog Barbecue Series competition.
The Whole Hog Barbecue community embraced the new team and the challenges that come with working on a short deadline by coordinating with established teams to help provide Bling and Sting with a borrowed whole hog smoker.
One of Bling and Sting’s team members, Dare Robertson, spoke highly of the Whole Hog Barbecue community’s response: “This barbecue community is more like a family. We are always there to help and support one another even though we compete against each other. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.”
When the day of competition arrived, team Bling and Sting banked on the knowledge and advice they had gained through watching YouTube videos and consulting other Whole Hog teams. Though they had never cooked together as a team, they worked together like seasoned veterans. Because of this, team Bling and Sting was able to defy the odds stacked against them by winning first place in the People’s Choice category and fourth place overall by North Carolina Pork Council sanctioned judges.
Reflecting on her experience, Robertson noted, “none of us really had a clue what we were doing, but we worked together as a team, had an amazing time, learned a ton, and walked away totally in love with the Whole Hog competition!”
Keep an eye out for team Bling and Sting on the 2018 Whole Hog Barbecue Series circuit.