Sunday, October 1, 2023

Greater Williamsburg pit masters to go head-to-head in barbecue cook off

(Courtesy Brad Anderson/ Rotary Club)
(Courtesy Brad Anderson/ Rotary Club)

WILLIAMSBURG — When barbecue pit masters compete against one another, it’s the audience of judges who wins.

That’s why the Rotary Club of the Historic Triangle is bringing Greater Williamsburg’s top barbecue chefs and aspiring backyard grill masters together for a fundraiser.

Grills and smokers will fire up July 1 at Jamestown Beach Event Park for the inaugural Williamsburg Pro-AM BBQ Cook Off, according to a Rotary Club press release.

“For as many barbecue places as we have around here, I was surprised we didn’t already have an event like this,” event organizer and Rotary Club member Brad Anderson told WYDaily.

Anderson said he modeled the cook off after two other popular local events — the Chowder Fest and the Newport News Rotary Club’s Shrimp Fest.

“I’m a backyard barbecue enthusiast,” Anderson said. “I’ve been barbecuing in my backyard for a long time.”

Eight of the area’s most popular barbeque restaurants and food trucks will be competing, according to the release.

Participating barbecue purveyors include:

  • Two Drummers Smokehouse
  • Old City BBQ
  • Rocco’s Smokehouse
  • Red, Hot and Blue,
  • Smoke Restaurant
  • Suck On This BBQ
  • The Scottish Pig
  • Whiskey Hill BBQ

The chefs will compete for top brisket, best pulled pork, best side dish and overall grand champion. Winners will be decided in a vote among paying guests.

“My vote is for mac and cheese,” Anderson said about the best side competition.

Anderson said he is making a trophy to hand to the winning business, adding the competitors are most interested in the bragging rights.

It won’t just be the professionals who are serving up barbeque. Amateurs can test their recipes and skills by competing against one another for cash prizes.

A panel of judges will choose which backyard barbeque team produces the best pulled pork, chicken and ribs. A minimum purse of $500 will be distributed between the winners.

Guests will be able to get as many samples of barbecue as they can eat.

Tickets are $40 for adults, and also include two beer stubs. Beer sponsor Billsburg Brewery will be on hand to offer their brews, and Anderson said other beers will be available too.

Admission for children is $10.

Those who wish to attend can register at the Rotary Club’s website. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m.

Event proceeds will go to charitable organizations, including primary beneficiary 3e Restoration, which aims to help the area’s homeless find housing and stability.

“That’s what the rotary club is about, service and serving the community and having fun,” Anderson said.

Entertainment will also be provided by professional emcee.

Anderson added he wants the cook off to become a yearly event.

“This is going to be a fun, family-friendly event supporting local causes,” Anderson said. “Where you get to try the best barbecue that our local restaurant and food trucks have to offer? Where else can you go to try everybody’s barbecue in one place?”

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