Barbecue takes center stage at SOTW

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, October 27, 2012

Contestants in the North Carolina Pork Council’s state barbecue contest gather around the final tallies for the competition. Mike Hall of Hall’s Cooking Team won first place for the state; Jim Bristle and Fat Fellas, won locally in the backyard barbecue contest. (WDN Photo/Vail Stewart Rumley)

No Air Force jets ripped through the sky over downtown. No fire engines were pulled down Stewart Parkway to the roar of the crowd. No skydivers landed on the waterfront, no bagpipers piped. Because Hurricane Sandy loomed large on the horizon, this year’s Smoke on the Water and North Carolina State Barbecue Championship was pared down to its essentials: barbecue, with a side of chili.
“In spite of the weather I feel like the turnout has been good — but not great,” said Trent Tetterton, one of SOTW’s many volunteers. “Thankfully the hurricane is waiting ‘til later in the weekend, but I believe it scared a lot of people off.”
On the waterfront, the Elizabeth II, replica of a 16th century sailing ship, saw a steady stream of tourists on and off the vessel.
“It’s a shame about the weather, but it’s still fun,” said Kathryn Pisciotta. Pisciotta was one of many sampling chili at the chili tent, where $5 bought a taste of four entries in the contest.
While the drizzling rain may have kept pork-lovers at home, it didn’t serve as a deterrent for those vying for top honors in local and state barbecue contests.
In the state competition, Mike Hall and Hall’s Cooking Team from Newport took home first place in both culinary and showmanship categories. Second place in the culinary category went to Charles Chestnutt and Three Little Pigs of Murfreesboro; third went to Cathy Gregg and Mama’s BBQ of Newport; and fourth, to David Grandy and Lazy Dayz of Morehead City.
Taking home the big trophy for backyard barbecue was Jim Bristle and Fat Fellas. Second place went to Wendy Andrews and Skin It Back Catering; third, to Wes Bowers and Performance Paint; and fourth place went to The Meat Man, Dillon Stallings. Bowers and Performance Paint also picked up the showmanship prize.
For the second year running, Bobby and Elaine Roberson won first place in the chili contest, with Nico Nathan winning second. Bringing home third was Mac Hodges.