Repeat cooker breaks tie

Published 12:38 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

Staff Writer

A Smoke on the Water veteran edged out a close competitor to capture first place in the pig-cooking contest Saturday on the Washington waterfront.
Cooker Fred Woodard of Smithfield, and his team Smoky W’s Pit Que, won top honors, scoring a trophy and a check from Smoke on the Water’s organizers.
Asked to reveal his secret to success, Woodard demurred — like any champion barbecued-pork artist.
“I don’t think it’s any one thing,” he said. “It’s a combination of things. … The skin’s got to be crispy. The moisture content’s got to be good, the sauce has got to taste good.”
This was Woodard’s fourth year at Smoke on the Water, one of about 15 pig-cooking battles he said he visits each year across North Carolina.
Woodard said he has enjoyed several other first-place finishes in competitions, and placed second at Smoke on the Water a couple of years ago.
Woodard actually tied with another cooker, state Rep. Arthur Williams of Washington, whose Trade Mart Traders ended the day in second place.
Because these competitors were neck and neck, under North Carolina Pork Council rules, choosing a winner came down to the meat’s flavor, according to Spencer Stanley, Washington Noon Rotary’s Smoke on the Water chairman.
“It was a close race,” Stanley said. “There were some very good cookers.”
In third was Macon Bacon, with cooker Frank Gregg of Newport.
Fourth was taken by King Cooker, with cooker David Burke of Margarettsville. Burke also won the showmanship award.
The pig-cooking awards consisted of:
• First place — $1,250 and a trophy
• Second place — $900 and a trophy
• Third place — $750 and a trophy
• Fourth place — $500 and a trophy
• Showmanship — $300 and a trophy.
Stanley said 25 pig-cookers spent Friday night on Stewart Parkway, creating their culinary magic through early Saturday morning.
Long lines of hopeful diners, concentrating more on the food than on the competitors, streamed from a tent in a parking lot as volunteers served barbecued pig before the lunch hour.
Also part of Smoke on the Water was a chili cook-off.
Finishing first in the chili cook-off was a team led by Jeremy Wetherington, a fireman with the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department.
“I’ve never done a chili contest in my life,” Wetherington exulted after the winners were announced.
“The secret was when we cooked the chili yesterday we had no recipe,” he said. “No recipe at all. … We all tasted it, we decided when it was done, and that’s it.”
Third place went to Ashley Revels while second place belonged to Bill Reed, it was reported during the awards ceremony.
The chili cook-off prizes were:
• First place — $500
• Second place — $300
• Third place — $100.
There were 25 entrants in the chili cook-off this year, said Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons, one of the competition’s three judges.
“Nobody went to jail and nobody had to pay any money,” Sermons joked.
Farther west, along Water Street near the N.C. Estuarium, Down East Rods and Classics was hosting 163 classic or unusual cars and trucks by 10:53 a.m. Saturday.
Among the show’s participants was Greenville resident Judy Seymour and her husband, Jimmy, with their 1984 Tiffany Classic car.
Seymour had dressed as Cruella De Vil in honor of the Halloween season, and in homage to the couple’s conveyance, which resembles the automobile driven by De Vil in the Disney film “101 Dalmations.”
“Her car sort of looked like this,” Judy Seymour remarked.
She said her husband gave her the car to mark their 25th wedding anniversary.
The two take part in five to six car shows a year, she said.
At around 1 p.m., the Beaufort County Developmental Center’s fire-engine pull took center stage on Stewart Parkway.
A dozen teams signed up to tug a fire truck a predetermined distance in a battle of strength and speed, spurred on by a cheering throng.
The Washington fire department took first place in the race, followed by the “Hoss Power” team of the Bunyan Volunteer Fire Department and third-place finishers the Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department.
One of the engine-pull team members apparently was overcome by heat and thirst and had to be taken from the scene in an ambulance.
The team member was not identified.
The participant was expected to be fine, said Beaufort County Sheriff Alan Jordan, who handled announcer duties for the event.
Other happenings scheduled for the day included the Pamlico Pals “Ducky Derby,” live music from area bands and the Beaufort County Idol finals on a main stage downtown.
Smoke on the Water was set to end at 4 p.m. Saturday.