Arts and Entertainment

BBQ competition returns to Smokey Point

SMOKEY POINT — After its first community barbecue cook-off last year, the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce is offering its first cook-off sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association this year, in conjunction with its second annual community barbecue cook-off and marketplace street fair from Aug. 16-18, at the intersection of 172nd Street NE and 51st Avenue.

Mary Jane Harmon, managing director of the Chamber, explained that Friday, Aug. 16, and Saturday, Aug. 17, would be devoted to the sanctioned cook-off, while Sunday, Aug. 18, would be set aside for the community cook-off.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 7, the sanctioned cook-off had already recruited 14 cooks, and will be accepting entries until they reach 20 cooks, or until Aug. 16. The sanctioned cooks will be competing by Pacific Northwest BBQ Association rules, in the categories of pork butt, brisket, chicken and pork ribs, to win grand champion, reserve champion and first- through seventh-place awards, adding up to $4,000 in total prizes.

“If we get 15 teams, the winners will automatically be qualifiers for the American Royal barbecue competition, and will be dropped into consideration for the Jack Daniels Invitational,” Harmon said. “Some of the cooks will be offering barbecue bites, of two ounces for a dollar, except ribs, which will go for $2 for two ounces, because it’s priced by how expensive those cuts of meat are.”

Harmon hopes to have between 8-10 teams signed up for the community cook-off, although only three were signed up as of Aug. 7, since last-minute registrations are not uncommon.

“Some of our professional cooks will be sticking around on Sunday, after their own barbecues have been judged in the sanctioned cook-off on Saturday, to help mentor the community cooks,” Harmon said. “They’ll be giving tips on how to use sauces and presentation to keep the meat fresh and tasty, so that some of those community cooks can move onto the sanctioned cook-off, if they so choose.”

For more information on the Smokey Point BBQ Cook-Off and Marketplace, log onto www.arlington-smokeypointchamber.com.

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