Records fall at Pork Fest

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

MURFREESBORO – People came out in droves to the sixth annual Roanoke-Chowan Pork Fest.

Roanoke-Chowan Pork Fest Committee Member Brinson Paul estimated a crowd of more than 1,000 filled the grounds of the Jefcoat Museum for the festival that took place on Saturday.

“This sixth Pork-Fest served over 1,100 people and was by far the biggest and best Pork-Fest we have had,” said Paul. “We set records on the number of cooks at 18, on the sale of strawberry shortcake and sales at the Pepsi Wagon.”

Fest-goers perused Pork Alley, browsed arts and craft booths and enjoyed an Armed Forces Day Salute.

Three judges from the North Carolina Pork Council judged 18 cooking teams from all over the area, including Hampton and Margarettsville, NC.

Many cooking team members wringed their hands and some removed themselves from their tent as the judges tore apart their pig, testing the meat for crispness, firmness and finally taste.

But in the end it was a local that snagged the covenant trophy.

Head Chef Wayne Futrell, who makes up one half of the team The Ace Cookers hailing from Murfreesboro, took home the top culinary prize.

“It’s great,” said Futrell about winning.

Futrell has been involved with pork barbeque competitions for 10 years and his last win came in Mt. Airy.

“It’s the best cook off I’ve ever been to,” said Futrell. “(It was) very organized.”

The newly crowned Roanoke-Chowan Barbecue King credited his win not to his sauce, but to the quality meat he had to work with.

“Sometimes you get them and they’re bruised,” he said. “This was a quality pig.”

Meat from all of the teams’ pigs was ground into loose pork and dowsed with Murfreesboro’s “secret sauce” for the “all you can eat” barbeque meal after the judging.

Paul estimated 720 pounds of pork was served at the event.

The junior ROTC Color Guard Unit of Hertford County High presented the colors along with a “Pass the Flag Presentation Ceremony”, led by Senior Petty Officer Jason Knupp.

The salute to the Armed Forces didn’t end there.

Cooking teams also helped celebrate Armed Forces Day by decorating their tents with patriot themed decorations.

Paul recognized the volunteers that made the event possible.

“We had over 100 volunteers serving to make Pork-Fest a success,” said Paul.

Other culinary cooking team winners include:

* Second place: Danny Clampton of Roanoke Rapids

* Third place: Charlie Meeks of Newport, NC

* Fourth place: Michael Piner of Newport, NC

* Fifth place: Russell Snider of Halifax, who was also last year’s winner of the Roanoke Chowan Pork Fest

Showmanship winner:

* Michael Hemmingway of Newport, NC

Paul said the scores are still being compiled for the Sponsors Blind Tasting Event.