A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Middlesex man wins barbecue cook-off award

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Twenty-eight of the state’s top whole hog barbecue cooks filled downtown Raleigh to compete for more than $7,000 in cash prizes in the 2019 Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship held Sept. 27-28. Cooks qualified to compete in the championship by placing in one of 28 local competitions sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council.

After more than 24 hours of preparation, cooking and serving in unseasonably high temperatures, Kevin Peterson of Benson took home the top trophy. This is the second time Peterson and his wife Dana, known on the competition circuit as Showtime’s Legit BBQ, won. They also claimed the championship in 2017.

Peterson beat out the defending champion, Chris Fineran of Little River, South Carolina, who took second and Billy Narron of Middlesex took home third place. Narron won the Johnston County Pig Cookin’ Contest held during the Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival in May to qualify for the championship.

In addition to the top culinary category, winners were also announced for best sauce, crispiest skin, blind taste and the People’s Choice Award sponsored by BQ Grills, which was determined by attendees’ votes.

State Championship

First place: Kevin Peterson, Showtime’s Legit BBQ, Benson

Second place: Chris Fineran, Beach Boys BBQ, Little River, S.C.

Third place: Billy Narron, Wicked Pig, Middlesex

Crispiest Skin

First place: Chris Fineran, Beach Boys BBQ, Little River, S.C.

Blind Taste

First place: Kevin Peterson, Showtime’s Legit BBQ, Benson

Second place: Jason Baker, Baker Boys BBQ, Goldsboro

Third place: David Grandy, Lazy Days, Morehead City

Best Sauce

First place: Ashley Wheeler, Smokin’ Black Jack BBQ, Princeton

Second place: Mark Copeland and Billy Perry, Pocosin Boys, Wilson

Third place: Brooke South, South in Your Mouth Cookin’ Team, Newport

People’s Choice

First place: Brooke South, South in Your Mouth Cookin’ Team, Newport

Second place: Justin Boswell, Busted Grills, Greenville

Third place: Kacey Field, KC-Que, Newport

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