is big time barbecuing. The winners earn the right
to participate in the national barbecue contest in Kansas
City - the World Series of barbecue. I'm there with
Jack McDavid, of TV Food Network's Grillin' and Chillin'
and Philadelphia's Jack's Firehouse and the Down Home
Diner. My job is to keep out of Jack's way and to
fetch the occasional root beer float.
is a lot of "hurry up and wait" to big time
barbecuing. The whole hog takes close to a day to cook
- doesn't really need all that much attention, but hard core
bbq'ers stay up all night to keep an eye on things.
And to drink some beer. And to trade tales of great
barbecue contests and barbecuers of days gone by.
And to drink some more beer.
actually a series of contest over a couple of days.
The first is "anything but" meaning anything but
pork. Jack did a BBQ clam bake - lobster, clams,
sausage and white fish.
came the Queen of the Hogs contest. Those who have
barbecued a whole hog gussy it up all pretty like and
then, when the judges come by, spin a yarn about the
hog. Jack and his son Jason told the tallest tale,
ending with the hog's cell phone ringing.
comes the judgin' and the eatin'. First portions of
the whole hog are presented - the cheek, tenderloin,
shoulder, ham and ribs. This is probably the
toughest, cooking a whole hog so each part is perfect.
the same time that the whole hog has been cooking, Jack has been
barbecuing separate body parts - the
shoulder and ribs, along with whole chicken and a beef
of these are individually garnished and presented to the
judges at half hour intervals. What doesn't go to
the judges we get to eat. What we don't eat goes to
the state troopers who are working the festival.