It would’ve been more useful if I’d found out about this event before it happened, but better late than never… There is a new barbecue event in Fayettevilled called, “When Pigs Fly,” which took place on Saturday. As Chicago Cubs fans say toward the end (or much earlier) of each season, maybe next year.
One of Chapel Hill’s most venerable fine dining restaurants, Crook’s Corner, may be your new source for authentic North Carolina barbecue. Starting this week, Crook’s begins a series called Carolina ‘Cue Wednesdays. Here’s the announcement from their newsletter:
Inspired by Our State magazine’s monthly BBQ explorations and education, I’m taking off from Chapel Hill each week on a road trip-to pick up BBQ from one of our state’s tastiest BBQ joints. Next Wednesday, October 30, we’re kicking off the Carolina ‘Cue Wednesdays Series with The Skylight Inn BBQ from Ayden. Come to Crook’s to taste, for the first time or revisit, Sam Jones’ family’s unmistakably great hand-chopped BBQ-and the Skylight signature sauce. Choose cornbread or buns, our slaw. Bill Smith has great additional sides & desserts to go with (think collards, seasonal veggies, unusual things too like fried beet pies, and banana pudding for after). If you love all sorts of NC Barbecue, mark your Wednesday nights for Crook’s. You can think: Gene’s doing the driving, so you don’t have to. Please call for reservations.
It’s a great concept and a convenient way for people to experience great North Carolina barbecue without driving too far from home (though, for the record, everyone in the Chapel Hill area should first visit their own great BBQ restaurant, Allen & Son, or I’ll be angry).
Crook’s became famous many years ago when the kitchen was run by the legendary, late Bill Neal, The restaurant continues to be known for classic southern dishes like shrimp and grits as well as the magnificently named “Cheese Pork!” Crook’s has had barbecue on the menu for years, but it’s never been worth eating, in my over-educated opinion. As I understand it, their ‘cue typically came from a nearby purveyor of gas-roasted pork (i.e., not actual barbecue in my wood-centric definition). Let’s hope this new approach of importing their BBQ from far and wide is a success–the more people eating real BBQ the better!
Nice article in Lexington’s Dispatch newspaper on the upcoming Barbecue Festival and those who make it happen: http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20131011/COLUMNISTS/310119984/1052/living02?Title=Lexington-takes-care-of-barbecue-8212-and-people The article’s best excerpt: “From the day old Simon Peter had his vision on the rooftop in Joppa and God announced: ‘Q is good for you! Take and eat with a little red slaw’ (Lexington Standard Version), to barbecue pioneers Jesse Swicegood and Sid Weaver, and to today’s plethora of barbecue establishments in and around town, that simmering, delectable, slow-cooked pork shoulder just gets better and better.”
Neat TV news story profiling the serious work involved in preparing for Thursday’s annual Mallard Creek Barbecue in Charlotte. It’s worth watching for the burn barrels alone, check it out embedded below or by following this link. For one thing, I didn’t realize they actually cook over wood coals–impressive for an event serving 14,000 pounds of pork!
If you’re in Hickory this weekend and can live with yourself for visiting Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (aka “the Starbuck’s of BBQ”), then check out this event. In case you are too lazy to click the link, it is a newspaper article describing a BBQ sandwich eating contest between the Hickory Police Department and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Department to raise money for the Special Olympics.
According to the article, “Aggressive eaters from each department will go head-to-head to see who can cram down the most barbecue sandwiches in 10 minutes.” The public is invited to attend and has the right to cheer on its favorite competitor, or the right to remain silent…
Perhaps still seeking its BBQ identity after the Michelle Obama flap of 2011, the not-so-famed BBQ destination of Charlotte will host a barbecue competition the weekend after next. Seriously, it sounds like a fun event so check it out. Below is an excerpt from the media release about the event, with all the gory details:
Charlotte, NC – September 11, 2013 – BBQ competitors have yet another reason to sharpen their skills and perfect their recipes before the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship. On October 19, the winning team will not only receive the title of Grand Champion and a $7,500 cash prize; the team will also receive a Golden Ticket – an exclusive invitation to compete in the 2013 World Food Championships in Las Vegas, to be held November 7-10, 2013.
The four day, invitation-only food competition draws hundreds of contenders from around the world. Competitors vie for $300,000 in winnings and the title of 2013 World Food Champion. The Q-City Charlotte BBQ Grand Champion team will represent the Southeast region and battle other top-tier national teams in the World Barbecue Championship category.
The Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship will be held for the 11th year on October 18-19 in Uptown Charlotte. There are two types of teams – Memphis BBQ Network (MBN) pros and Challenger (amateur) teams that will compete in a variety of categories – everything from Boston butt and whole hog to cole slaw and chicken. The Grand Champion will be chosen from the MBN pro team division. This is the second year that the Grand Champion will be automatically qualified to compete in the World Food Championships.
Fans will enjoy tons of food, live music, BBQ demonstrations and competitions during the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship. Cost of admission? It’s free. Join us Oct. 18-19 in Charlotte.
See the below press release sent to me by Jim Early of the North Carolina Barbecue Society. Jim adds, “We have room for about 9 more paid campers to fill out the camp which is July 19-20, 2013, but the condo hold and great price ends June 30 and I would like our campers have this great price. We already have our 8 Wounded Warriors and we have a lovely 5 bedroom home with all the amenities atop the mountain comped for the Warriors.” Sounds like fun so check it out…
The North Carolina Barbecue Society (NCBS) is pleased to share that it will produce its Mountain NCBS BBQ Boot Camp and NCBS Certified BBQ Judge Classes at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort Friday and Saturday July -20,2013. The attendees at this event will receive an 18 hour cooking School diploma and a certificate as a NCBS Certified BBQ Judge. NCBS Certified BBQ Judges are used to judge all NCBS sanctioned BBQ events. See our website www.ncbbqsociety.com and click Up Coming Classes home page and follow prompts.
The cooking school will have as instructors some of the top Pit Masters and Chefs in the country. These highly skilled individuals will conduct classes on cooking whole hogs Eastern NC style (sauces & sides) ,pork shoulders Western NC style(sauces & sides), pork ribs & rubs, beef brisket & rubs, beef steak from inexpensive to high end with sauces a & rubs, Heritage Chicken, Guinea Fowl, and White Ringed Neck Pheasant with exquisite sauces, scrumptious side dishes, delectable appetizers and to die for desserts. Last year CNNGO.Com named the NCBS Cooking Schools 1 of 10 Excellent cooking schools universally.
The cooking schools are capped at 40 including 8 full scholarships to Wounded Warriors. With the assistance of our wonderful neighbors at Sugar Mountain,/Banner Elk/Avery County NCBS has acquired lodging at a discounted rate for our attendees.
COME JOIN THE NCBS FAMILY AND EXPERIENCE THE CULINARY ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME IN A PLACE LIKE NO OTHER—AVERY COUNTY—NC’S LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN.
From the Durham County library, this looks like a good one, even though it doesn’t feature any BBQ pitmasters…
Southern Cooking (Durham Reads Together)
Sunday, September 23, 3 p.m.
Southwest Regional Library, 3605 Shannon Rd.
Food plays an important part in the culture of the South and in Maron’s novels. InUp Jumps the Devil, Deborah Knott says, “My family will drop every other subject to discuss food.” Join Bob Garner, television personality and food author, as he moderates a panel of leading proponents of Southern cooking, including Chefs Ben Barker of Magnolia Grill, Billy Cotter of Toast, Amy Tornquist of Watts Street Grocery and Iron Chef Walter Royal of the Angus Barn as they discuss Southern food cultures.