N.C. Cooks Vie for a Spot in Whole Hog Barbecue Championship

State’s pork heritage celebrated during Wide Open Bluegrass in October

RALEIGH, N.C. — From Henrico to Louisburg, the competitive spirit was burning as five more contests were held this summer across the state. The North Carolina Pork Council’s Whole Hog Barbecue Series is in full swing, with cooks vying for a place in the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship held in Raleigh in October.

The most recent competitions in the series and their winners include:

23rd Annual Battle of the Barbecue, Henrico, NC
1st Place:      Charlie Meeks
2nd Place:     Ernest Twisdale
3rd Place:      Mike Hall

Cape Fear BBQ Festival, Burgaw, NC
1st Place:      Frankie Keene
2nd Place:     Charlie Meeks
3rd Place:      Mike Hall

Kickin’ It Country Cook-Off, Raleigh, NC
1st Place:       Chris Fineran
2nd Place:     Bobby Owens
3rd Place:      David Parker

Blueberry Festival Annual BBQ Cook-Off, Burgaw, NC
1st Place:      Chris Fineran
2nd Place:    Charlie Meeks
3rd Place:     Tyler Whitley

Norris Creek Pig Pickin’ Bluegrass & BBQ Festival, Louisburg, NC
1st Place:      Roy Parker
2nd Place:    Charlie Meeks
3rd Place:     Bruce Daniel

The series will culminate on October 2–3, when 30 of the best cooks gather in Raleigh for the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship, during the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival.

“Bluegrass and barbecue couldn’t be a better fit,” said Deborah Johnson, CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC). “Our cooks are thrilled to be a part of International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival. And we’re equally excited about sharing some of the state’s best barbecue with the more than 100,000 attendees of the festival.”

Barbecue lovers will find multiple options to learn more about whole hog barbecue and tempt their palates during the festival, including:

Friday, Oct. 2          5–9 pm          N.C. Barbecue Experience Dinner with Matthew Register

Saturday, Oct. 3      8:45 am         Whole Hog Championship Judging

Saturday, Oct. 3      11 am              Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Championship Sandwich Sales

Saturday, Oct. 3       5–9pm          N.C. Barbecue Experience Dinner with Linwood Parker

Aficionados don’t have to wait for the Championship; ten more competitions will take place across North Carolina — from Sneads Ferry to Ahoskie to Mt. Airy.

For more details on upcoming competitions, the Championship, or Wide Open Bluegrass Festival dining events, visit wholehogbarbecue.com, the Whole Hog Barbecue Facebook page or the NCPC Facebook page.

# # # 

About the N.C. Pork Council (www.ncpork.org)

The North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC) is the statewide organization chartered in 1962 to support producers and allied industry partners within the North Carolina pork industry. Today, the pork industry provides almost 46,000 full-time jobs and adds $11 billion to North Carolina’s economy.