Vince Hill, one of our Belmont neighbors, owns the Caravan Coffee Shop in downtown Belmont across from Stowe Park. As part of the annual “Summer Celebration”, Vince piggybacked an amateur cookoff on Airline Avenue for the second year.
Story by Daniel Jackson Pictures by Mike Hensdill
A dozen local grill masters put their butts to the test — along with their ribs, chicken and pulled pork — at an amateur barbecue cookoff in downtown Belmont Saturday, July 28.
The second annual Caravan Summer Sizzlin’ Cookoff withstood heavy rains Friday night and served up free samples of barbecue and sometimes beans, slaw and hushpuppies to more than 300 festival-goers Saturday afternoon.
Belmont’s own Scott Abernathy and his team, Bustin’ Butts, was the crowd’s favorite for the second year in a row. Out of a dozen cooks, Abernathy received more than one-third of the votes cast for the People’s Choice Award Saturday. But official judges did not put him in the top three of any category.
“He won the people’s choice last year, too,” said organizer Vince Hill, who owns the Caravan Coffee and Desert Bar. “Some of the contestants said they’d rather win the People’s Choice Award because at least you know people are enjoying your food. He had baked beans and coleslaw — a lot of good stuff.”
A team called A Butt and a Half from Alexis won first place for their chicken and placed in the top three of the ribs and pulled pork categories, as well. And neither of the cooks — 10-year-old Jeremy Burgin and his 14-year-old cousin Hannon Kennedy — are old enough to drive a car, Hill said.
“The little guy, his father cooked professionally,” Hill said. “He did all his own rubs and sauces.”
Hill said some the local barbecue might be good enough for professional competition, but the Belmont event is a “backyard competition for local people.”
“My hats off to all the contestants,” he said. “Last night we had a monsoon come through and blow everybody’s stuff all over the place. When it was over, they got their stuff together and kept cookin’.”
And the Winner’s are:
Chicken: A Butt and a Half — 1st Place, Pig N’ Chicken — 2nd Place, Mother Cluckers — 3rd Place
Ribs: Kickin’ Chicken — 1st Place, A Butt and a Half — 2nd Place, Hog-a-holics — 3rd Place
Pulled pork: Kickin’ Chicken — 1st Place, Mother Cluckers — 2nd Place, A Butt and a Half — 3rd Place
People’s Choice: Bustin’ Butts
We can tell you alright, the times we can get Airline Avenue blocked off for events like this and the “Beer Garden” for the “Friday Nights Alive!”, we make downtown Belmont R-O-C-K !