Twenty-eight of the top whole hog barbecue cooks will converge on downtown Raleigh during the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival on September 27 and 28 to compete to be this year’s Whole Hog Barbecue Champion.
Visitors to Wide Open Bluegrass on Saturday, Sept. 28, can purchase a wristband and be part of the excitement. The wristband will allow the bearer to sample barbecue from each of the 28 cooks and vote on which one they think deserves the People’s Choice Award. Wristbands are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. A limited number of wristbands and other details are available online.
Before the public gets to try the barbecue, sanctioned judges will first judge each pig on a combination of culinary technique and flavor. Criteria includes appearance, moisture, skin color and crispiness, meat and sauce taste.
Trophies will be awarded for the Whole Hog Champion, People’s Choice Award, blind taste winner, crispiest skin and best sauce. More than $7,000 will be award to the winners.
The cooks have qualified to compete in the championship by placing in one of about 30 competitions held throughout the year sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council.
The event is sponsored and sanctioned by the N.C. Pork Council and proceeds from the wristband sales will benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and the International Bluegrass Music Association Trust Fund.
This year’s competitors:
Jason Baker, Baker Boy’s BBQ, Goldsboro
Justin Boswell, Busted Grills, Greenville
Wesley Bowers, Getting Piggy With It, Washington
Brandon Copeland, Law Dogs, Hobbsville
Mark Copeland and Billy Perry, Pocosin Boys, Colerain
Bruce Daniel, Big Bad Wolf, Roanoke Rapids
Patrick Dowdee, Fur & Spur BBQ, Raleigh
Kacey Field, KC-Que, Newport
Chris Fineran, Beach Boys BBQ, Little River, S.C.
Richie Fulghum, Porky’s Defense, Wilson
David Grandy, Lazy Days, Morehead City
Mike Hall, Hall’s Cooking Team, Newport
Andy Harrison, Mr. Curley’s Boys, Louisburg
Michael Shane Hemenway, My Sweet Hog Cooking Team, Newport
David Hoffman, Grilling Palms BBQ, Kinston
Meeks, Lee / Charlie Captain Charlie’s Cooks, Newport
David Murray, Hound Dog BBQ, Snow Hill
Billy Narron, Wicked Pig, Middlesex
Kevin Peterson, Showtime’s Legit BBQ, Benson
Bobby Prescott, BP Country Cookers, Newport
McClentic Sanford, GMC, Newport
Brooke South, South in Your Mouth Cookin’ Team, Newport
Ernest Twisdale, Grillfather Cooking Team, Roanoke Rapids
Ashley Wheeler, Smokin Black Jack BBQ, Princeton
Jason Williamson, Creekside BBQ, Riegelwood
Kevin Wooten, Pickin’ & Grillin’ BBQ, Raleigh