Bob Garner Moderates Down Home Foodies

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.

Pork, Pickles & Peanuts

What could be finer than pork, pickles and peanuts in Carolina?  Nothing, or so I’m told.  Stop by Duke Homestead in Durham this Saturday (tomorrow, in other words) and find out for yourself.

According to PP&P’s organizers, the festival will feature “a BBQ cook off and pie competition, live music, costumed interpreters at our historic site, local arts and crafts vendors, and a mock Tobacco Queen pageant.”

Better yet, the winner of the pageant “will make her debut in September at our Harvest & Hornworm festival.”  I bet you can’t wait to put that on your resume, young ladies!

In all seriousness, the event looks like it’ll be a blast so check it out.  Learn more on the Interwebs.

Butchering a Whole Hog

There is a cool class coming up in Durham for those of you who really want to go whole hog (or have a meat cleaver fetish) and learn how to butcher one.  Only a couple of spots left in this June 27th class so sign up soon.  On the other hand, if you think the whole (hog) is greater than the sum of its (pork) parts, you could skip the class and just put the whole hog on the cooker like they do in Eastern NC.

Hog Day is Upon Us!

For those of you still living in the past–as past when Hillsborough Hog Day took place in late June–remember that the event moved to May as of last year… and will be held THIS weekend.  The festivities kick off Friday night in suddenly almost-hip historic downtown Hillsborough, and the main shindig is on Saturday.  Visit the website for details: http://hillsboroughchamber.com/hog-day/.  Sure, the food is a bunch of mediocre, primarily gas-cooked swine, but it’s damn fun anyway so check it out.  And don’t feel too bad if you pass on the BBQ sandwiches in favor of a giant turkey leg, gyro or other carnival food staple… or if you want some real, wood-cooked BBQ then make a short side trip to the Hillsborough BBQ Company just a few blocks west of the festival.

Bull City BBQ Classic

I am very late in promoting this event–alas, “real life” has gotten in the way lately–but I wanted to let y’all know about the first ever Bull City BBQ Classic.  The pork shoulder and pork rib cooking competition takes place this weekend in… you guessed it, Durham (aka the Bull City).  The event is affiliated with Refiner’s Fire Community Church, which is a damn near perfect affiliation for a barbecue contest.  (Other good BBQ church names might include Holy Hickory Episcopal, Outside Brown Baptist, the Church of the Latter Day Whole Hogs, or Barbecue Presbyterian Church.)

The event takes place at Refiner’s Fire Community Church’s parking lot at 1003 E. Main Street on Saturday.  Cooks will compete for pork rib and pork shoulder prizes, as judged by a three-celebrity panel: Michael Reese with 103.9 Radio Station, Anthony Wilson with ABC 11 and Dan Hill with Hill Chesson Insurance Company.  You’ll notice that your’s truly is conspicuously absent from this panel, but maybe next year I’ll get called on.

Judging begins at 11 a.m. and awards will be handed out by 2 p.m.; what happens in those three hours is anyone’s guess.  For more information, including seeing if you can enter the competition last-minute, contact Renee Brown at brownrr9 @ gmail.com

Carolina Pork Experiment

The yankees are coming, the yankees are coming.  But this time they are here to spread joy and pork.  This weekend the Carolina Pork Experiment, a stop on the circuit of the Brooklyn Brewery-sponsored The Food Experiments, will be held in Durham.

The event is a chance for amateur cooks to show off your porcine cooking talents, and for spectators to have a good time and a cold draft minus the competitive pressure.  (Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver is well-known as a perhaps the leading advocate for pairing beers and food.  His book, The Brewmaster’s Table, is a classic for foodies and beer geeks alike.)  Read more about The Carolina Pork Experiment after the jump. Continue reading

Crook’s Turns 30

One of Chapel Hill’s best loved restaurants is turning 30.  Crook’s Corner has long offered barbecue as an afterthought on its menu of southern staples (shrimp and grits) and innovative originals (Cheese Pork!, anyone?).  Although Crook’s has been hailed as “Sacred ground for Southern foodies” by the New York Times, their barbecue has never been anything particularly special–not even cooked on site, but rather “imported” from Bullock’s in Durham and marked up in price significantly.  However, Crook’s is an excellent restaurant and they are celebrating their 30th with a barbecue bash tonight.

bday

2012 Calendar of Events

With a new year upon us, it is time for me to update the Events page of this website with hog happenings planned for North Carolina in 2012.  If you know of a barbecue-related event coming up in the year ahead, especially if the event was not listed last year, please comment on this post or drop me a line at BBQJew at gmail.com. The more info you can provide about the event, the better. Providing a web address is helpful, but providing a free backstage pass, celebrity judging offer or other bribe is even better…

Thanks y’all,

Porky

Cackalacky Cookout for a Cause (aka “Cookacausy”?)

For those of you in striking distance of Chapel Hill, there’s a good event for a good cause this Saturday, as described by Mr. Page Skelton of Cackalacky, Inc.

“Our mighty Cackalacky cookout crew will be teaming up with our “zest friends” from A  Southern Season and Fullsteam Brewery for an awesome tailgate  party/sampling event this Saturday, October 29th!  Plus, we will also be  accepting non-perishable food donations at the gathering on behalf of the nice folks from PORCH, too! (People Offering Relief for  Chapel Hill and Carrboro Homes, or, “PORCH”  for short.)

So, please  come by the tailgate party for some tasty tunes, brews, and eats – and help support a great local cause! (And, please don’t forget  to bring a few canned or boxed food items with  you.)

What: Cackalacky-Fullsteam Tailgate  Party

Where: A Southern Season, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel  Hill, NC 27514

When: Saturday, October 29th  11 – 3PM

Why: Why not? (Seriously)  Well, that AND  to have a great time while we raise food donations for a great  cause!

Helpful links:

www.PORCHNC.org

www.SouthernSeason.com

www.Fullsteam.ag

Thanks &  zestiest regards,

Page
Page Skelton
President
Cackalacky, Inc.
www.CACKALACKY.com

Countdown to The Barbecue Festival

Saturday, October 22nd is the date of The Barbecue Festival in Lexington, which is far and away North Carolina’s largest barbecue-related event.  Assuming the weather is nice, well over 100,000 people will descend on little Uptown Lexington for the day, making it perhaps the worst day of the year to visit unless you love crowds.  While October 22nd is the big day, there are Festival-related events aleady underway:

-This past Saturday was the 20th annual Tour de Pig bicycle race, which was held the same day as Ridin’ Hawg Wild, an event for folks who prefer their bikes motorized.

-Archdale resident Tabatha Allred won the 2011 Childress Idol competition on October 2nd and will sing at the Festival.

-This coming Saturday the 15th will feature the Hawg Shoot high school air rifle competition (for those who don’t mind guns at school), the Hawg Run 5K, and the Barbecue Festival Golf Tournament.

-On the weekend of the Festival, competitive folks can participate in the 1st annual Barbecue Festival Cornhole “Throw Down” or the Barbecue Festival Softball Tournament. Personally, I think horseshoes would be a more appropriate pairing with barbecue but to each his own.

-Oh, and the Pepsi “Pig Tales” Creative Writing Contest is still accepting entries for all age categories through October 14th so if you have a burning desire to write fiction that includes mentions of barbecue and Pepsi then this is your chance to make your work pay off… category winners take home 20 cases of Pepsi products.

Finally, don’t forget to book at ticket on Amtrak for its once-a-year stop in Lexington.  My family took the train to the event last year and were surround by fellow barbecue lovers, some from as far away as Long Island, NY.

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