Whole Hog Barbecue Championship

September 30 - October 1, 2016 Wide Open Bluegrass Festival Raleigh, NC


  1. Chris Fineran
  2. Amy Whitley
  3. Frankie Keene
  4. Frank Gregg

Each Fall, the best whole hog barbecue chefs in North Carolina square off to become our state champion. The Whole Hog Barbecue Championship is the culmination of a qualifying series that includes more than 25 N.C. Pork Council-certified local barbecue competitions statewide.

This year, the State Championship will return to Downtown Raleigh as part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival.

Judging will begin at 8:30 AM on Saturday, October 1 with winners announced around 12:00 PM. You can watch all the Championship action at 1 E. Lenoir Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Congratulations to our 2016 Winners!

2016 Culinary Winners

  1. Chris Fineran
  2. Amy Whitley
  3. Frankie Keene
  4. Frank Gregg

2016 Blind Taste Winners

  1. Ernest Twisdale
  2. David Murray and Jim Bristle

2016 Showmanship Winners

  1. Chris Fineran
  2. Bruce Daniel
  3. Amy Whitley

2016 Crispy Skin Winner

  • Chris Fineran

*No tiebreaker determined for this contest.


Come enjoy the aroma, flavor, personality and style of North Carolina barbecue during IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest. The North Carolina Barbecue Experience includes events Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening, giving you the opportunity to experience NC’s rich barbecue tradition in all its glory, all in one weekend.

The Friday and Saturday night dinners, sponsored by Cheshire Pork, will be held on Cabarrus Crossroads in downtown Raleigh, near the corner of Cabarrus St. and Salisbury St. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. BUY TICKETS NOW!

Friday, September 30, Dinner:
Chef Matthew Register of Garland, NC’s Southern Smoke BBQ, is back for the third year in a row, preparing a barbecue feast on Friday night. Following in family footsteps, Register’s pork is smoked low and slow over oak wood. Using North Carolina’s Cheshire Pork, Chef Register’s barbecue plate will include his smoked pork and Southern staple sides. Make plans to join us for this dinner, steeped in history and tradition. BUY TICKETS NOW!

Saturday, October 1, Lunch:
Enjoy the sounds of bluegrass with the flavors of championship barbecue on Saturday. Following the judging of the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship, all of the award-winning barbecue will be collected, chopped and sold for lunch. Festivalgoers can purchase championship barbecue sandwiches for $5 on Cabarrus Street next to the Convention Center, as well as from the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s food truck next to the Performing Arts Center. Proceeds benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.

Saturday, October 1, Dinner:
A New York native, Chef Tyson Ho knows that North Carolina barbecue is the original and the best. He trained under North Carolina pit masters before taking his trade back to the Big Apple, where his restaurant, Arrogant Swine, has received rave reviews. For this dinner, Tyson is coming back to where it all began and serving his North Carolina barbecue in the heart of NC’s capital city. Using North Carolina’s Cheshire Pork, Tyson will be smoking his whole hogs over wood and serving it alongside slaw and hush puppies. Don’t miss this opportunity to taste and see how NYC does NC barbecue. BUY TICKETS NOW!