Cast and Crew hamming it up
The Big Pig Jig in Vienna, Georgia, was an MBN event which meant on-site judging with live judges in the categories of whole hog, ribs, and whole shoulder. Since our team utilized small Weber smokers, there was no way we could cook a whole hog or shoulder in our tiny pits. Consequently, we stuck to cooking ribs only. Since I was only cooking one category, it would be a very easy contest. To keep things interesting, I decided to cook an elaborate Friday evening dinner for cast and crew. The reason was twofold: one, it would be nice to share a hot meal with the cast and crew after being on the road together for three months, and two, it would be great to cook something other than BBQ. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking and eating BBQ, but I also enjoy cooking other foods. After much thought, I decided to prepare a no-holds-barred an Italian dinner for 40 persons featuring:
• Salmon Carpaccio over Organic Tortilla Shell and MicroGreens
• Grilled Rosemary Garlic Crusted New Zealand Lamb with Porcini Polenta
• Make Your Italian Grandma Cry Tennis-Sized Meatballs with Spicy Marinara Coulis over Spaghetti
• Grilled Portabella Mushrooms, Asparagus, Corn, and Sweet Peppers with Balsamic Glaze
It was fun getting the other pitmasters Lee Ann and Paul into helping cook this Italian dinner. Everyone loved the meal and many got seconds. I even got Johnny to eat the raw salmon. That’s two Soo-shi items I’ve successfully fed to Johnny this season!
In the contest on Saturday, we came in 16th for chicken and 22nd for ribs. Not bad considering there were over 100 teams. The weather was beautiful the entire contest and was a welcome respite.