World Kosher BBQ Championship

In case you missed it this past weekend, BBQ Jews from across the country (well, at least from a few metropolitan areas) descended on Memphis for the 23rd annual World Kosher Barbecue Championship.  For an event preview, see this article.  For event results, check… actually, do you really care who won?  It’s the concept that is most interesting.

From the contest website: “In a city where treif BBQ restaurants far outnumber synagogues, it was only natural that a creative team at the oldest, Jewish Orthodox congregation in the Mid-South, Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth (ASBEE), decided twenty-four years ago to offer a kosher alternative to the long-standing Memphis BBQ contest of the swine variety.”

Sounds like a good time and good food. Not as good as eating pork, of course, but good nevertheless.

Hogs and Pigs, Oh My

Two Triangle-area barbecue events take place this weekend:

Hillsborough Hog Day, the classic barbecue festival, cook-off and cultural event, moves up a month from past years in order to beat the heat.  The 29th annual event is held in River Park behind the courthouse and features live music, other entertainment, arts and crafts, and lots of chopped pork.  I’ll be dropping by bright and early on Saturday morning to help judge the pork shoulder cooking competition, so I’m looking forward to partaking in some breakfast barbecue.  I hope you’ll come out later on in the day to take in the festitivies, as it’s always a well run event and in the past the hot June weather has been my only complaint!  While you are in Hillsborough, be sure to check out the new Hillsborough BBQ Company.

A few dozen miles east of Hillsborough in Raleigh this weekend is the sixth annual Carolina Pig Jig, which will be held at the state fairgrounds as part of the Got to Be NC Festival (meaning, there will surely be an appearance by the giant shopping cart–you’ll see what I mean if you don’t know already).  The Pig Jig is a cooking competition organized by Raleigh Masonic Lodge #500 as a benefit for area children’s homes.

Judgment Day is Near

If you happen to be in Lexington, NC this Saturday please drop by and say hello to your’s truly.  Just don’t interrupt me while I’m hard at work.  I’ll be among the dozens of lucky folks volunteering at the first annual Lexington BBQ Capital Cook-off, a Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned cooking competition.  It will be my first experience judging barbecue as a KCBS Certified Barbeque Judge and I am feeling the pressure already–am I worthy of grading others on their chicken, pork ribs, pork butt, and brisket?   

The cook-off should be a fun event to watch, but a word of warning: according to the Greensboro News & Record, “Because of health department regulations, those who attend the two-day event will not be able to taste the barbecue prepared by the teams during the competition.”  What a drag, and what a waste of pork.  The good news is that three of the competitors will be selling BBQ to hungry onlookers.  Read more about the event in the Greensboro News & Record or at the event website.  See you in Lexington!

Goldsboro’s Pig in the Park This Weekend

April marks the beginning of the barbecue festival season, which runs through October.  The first event of the season was in Newport last weekend, but you have a chance to make it to the 2nd one THIS weekend.  Drive on over to Goldsboro for Pig in the Park.  The event features live music and other fun on Friday night, and then the serious business of a cooking competition on Saturday.  Plates are available for sale to the general public early afternoon on Saturday, and there will be more live music, vendors and other good times.

The festivities take place in downtown Goldsboro, an area that has a lot of history and an impressive collection of historic homes, storefronts and train depot (now under renovation).  Goldsboro has put a lot of effort into revitalizing its downtown, so show ‘em some love and pay them a visit. Plus, once you sample some Pig in the Park ‘cue you can have a 2nd meal at Wilbur’s or Grady’s or any number of other joints not too far away.

The Year in Re-‘Cue

It’s getting awfully close to barbecue competition and festival season, so I’ve updated the Events page with all the latest info. If you know of a BBQ-related festival or similar event that I am missing please let me know.  See the full list at http://bbqjew.com/events/

The Mallard Creek Barbeque

Want to be one of the lucky thousands who gets to eat barbecue while rubbing elbows with desperate politicians just days before the election?  Head on down to Charlotte, where the 81st Mallard Creek Barbeque is scheduled for this Thursday starting at 10 a.m.  The annual fundraiser is organized by Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church, as it has been since year one, and promises to serve up thousands of pounds of pig, slaw and Brunswick stew, along with a healthy dose of good cheer (as well as those pesky politicians).  The event is the largest of its kind in North Carolina so be sure you leave yourself plenty of time to soak it in.  Get directions to the Barbeque site here.

Like A Pig Needs a Bicycle?

“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”  So goes the famous feminist quote often incorrectly attributed to Gloria Steinem. While women may not need men, and fish may not need bicycles, pigs need both.  At least that was the sense on the streets of Lexington on Saturday. 

Women and men alike participated in the 19th annual Tour de Pig, a bicycle race that is affiliated with The Barbecue Festival.  See full coverage of the Tour de Pig, including photos and video footage, in this Lexington Dispatch article.  And stay tuned for The Barbecue Festival itself, which takes place on October 23rd.

Festival Trifecta This Weekend

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Whether you head east or to the heart of the state, you’ll find yourself deliciously close to barbecue.  
 
The Pork Jam 2010 BBQ Festival takes place about 45 minutes north of Greensboro in the little town of Pelham.  The event is scheduled for Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm. Located at 4895 Old US 29 in Pelham, the event benefits the community by supporting the Pelham Volunteer Fire Department.  There will be arts and crafts (over 50 vendors in ’08 and ’09), kids’ games/rides, face painting, hay rides, clowns (run for your lives, children!), door prizes, and live gospel, rock, country, beach, and bluegrass music. Oh yeah, and there will be fresh BBQ and stew served all day long and cooked by the volunteer firemen.  Free admission and parking. For more info or to be a vendor (if it’s not too late), please email porkjam@bellsouth.net.
 
A little ways to the north and west, the 2nd annual Future Legends of BBQ festival takes place in Flat Rock on Saturday. The event features a youth cooking competition (meaning the youth do the cooking, not get cooked, I think), along with live bluegrass, face painting, appearances by barbecue celebrities like Mike Mills, and more.  Admission is $5.
 
Meanwhile, down in Rocky Mount the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down, a part of the Down East Festival, celebrates its third year.  The KCBS-sanctioned cooking competition runs from Friday through Saturday. Related events include cooking demonstrations, people’s choice judging, BBQ for sale (of course!), a beer garden, music and more.  The event is free to the public. Visit the website for more info, including a complete event schedule. Also, see the Governor’s proclamation, in which Gov. Perdue proclaims October 8-9 “as the EASTERN CAROLINA BBQ THROW DOWN in North Carolina and urge[s] all citizens to commend its observance.”  Better not disobey the Governor, even if her last name is synonymous with poultry rather than pigs. 

Eat Pig, Help the Masonic Home for Children

The Freemasons are at it again.  But this time you can put the conspiracy theories out of your mind, as there are no The Da Vinci Code-like plot twists involved in their upcoming BBQ fundraiser. 

Hiram No.40 Masonic Lodge will be holding its annual BBQ fundraiser this Friday, October 8th from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. to benefit the NC Masonic Home for Children.  Barbecue will be prepared by the award winning competition cookers of the Lodge and will be sold to the public for $7 a plate.  These boys take their BBQ seriously, as they even organize an annual cooking competition called the Carolina Pig Jig.  So, get yourself a plate of ‘cue for a cause.

The fundraiser takes place at the Lodge at 1520 Caswell Street in Raleigh.  Learn more about the event here.

BBQ Events This Weekend

If you’re in the Triangle area this weekend you could do worse than checking out one of these two BBQ-themed events.  First, in Cary (yes, that Cary) on Friday and Saturday is the traveling road show called the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival.  Or, if you are looking for something with a little more of a downhome sophisticate flair, swing by The Flying Saucer in Raleigh on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for a pairing of Hogwash beer with barbecue.  Twenty bucks gets you five 5-oz pours of Fullsteam Brewery beers and a heaping plate o’ ‘cue.  (A tip of the snout to BBQ Dave for pointing this event out.)

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