RALEIGH, N.C. — The first ten contests in this year’s Whole Hog Barbecue Series are in the books. Winning teams have been announced for the recent cook-offs held across the state.
These ten cook-offs kicked off a series of about 25 contests sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council. Most contests are held in Eastern North Carolina and serve as qualifiers for the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship in Raleigh in early October. Entrants are determined by criteria set by the N.C. Pork Council.
The series got started at the Newport Moose Pig Cook-Off on March 7th. George Clements took the first place prize. James McCoy came in second and James McCoy III took home third.
The second contest of the series was also in Newport. Held the last weekend in March, the Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest is the largest contest in the series with more than 80 teams competing. Mike Hall took first place while second place went to Tyler Whitley, and the third spot to Bobby Prescott. Edgar Hargis and Charlie Meeks came in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Over the April 10-11 weekend, NCPC sanctioned events were held in Raleigh, Goldsboro and Spencer, Virginia.
The 5th Annual Wolfpack Club BBQ Bowl takes places in conjunction with North Carolina State University’s Spring Football Game. This year, Bruce Daniel came in first with Chris Fineran taking second and Michael Hall coming in third at the Raleigh event.
In Goldsboro, the top honors of the Pig in the Park contest went to chief cook John Kearney. Runner-up honors went to Roy Parker, and third place went to Tim Coonradt.
Hog cooking made its way to Spencer, VA for the third annual Spencer-Penn Pig Cookin’s Contest. The cooking champion was Grant Gammon. Cody Miles took second place and Mike Jackson came in third.
The following weekend, pig cooking met the pigskin in Greenville for East Carolina University’s Spring Football game. Charlie Meeks emerged as the champion, followed by Bobby Prescott. Third place honors went to Edgar Hargis.
The 4th annual BBQ on the Bluff took over the small town of Fair Bluff during the last weekend of April. Tim Carroll placed first. Last year’s Whole Hog Barbecue Champion Ernest Twisdale placed second Chris Fineran came in third.
The BBQ Festival on the Neuse has taken over downtown Kinston for the last 34 years. This year’s contest took place during the first weekend of May. David Grandy took the top prize at this year’s contest. David Murray came in second and Tommy Turner’s took third.
On the same weekend, the 4-H Youth Livestock Barbecue Cook-off took place at the Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival. Larry Snead took the top prize. Edgar Hargis and Tim Coondradt came in second and third respectively.
The Roanoke Chowan Porkfest took place in Murfreesboro on the weekend of May 15th. Charlie Meeks took the top prize, followed by Joe Peterson in second and Amy Whitley in third.
Barbecue lovers can enhance their palates with great tunes in the fall when the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival comes to Raleigh for the third year.
The Whole Hog Barbecue Championship will take place in downtown Raleigh in conjunction with the festival during the first weekend in October.
Deborah Johnson, CEO of the NCPC, noted, “We are thrilled to be part of IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival again. It’s a fun and natural partnership and we love combining the history of bluegrass and the history of whole hog barbecue cooking.”
At the Raleigh final event, as is the case in all the events throughout the season, the cooked barbecue is collected after judging, chopped and sold in plates to the general public.