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Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00

Sticking to the competition

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art frGregg Fuller can sum up barbeque.

“It’s a southern tradition,” he confidently stated.

Owner of No Name Sports Pub in Sylva, Fuller knows his barbeque. It’s something the establishment specializes in, and aims to perfect when pristine, raw pork rolls in and juicy, fresh barbeque rolls out.

 

“Cooking it slow and low — that’s what it’s all about,” he said. 

Sitting on the back deck of the pub, Fuller and his chef, Carl Yarbrough, are gearing up for the barbeque contest that will be held on May 3 at Woofstock — Blues, Brews & BBQ. A fundraiser for ARF/Jackson County Humane Society, the all-day festival at McGuire Gardens in Sylva also includes children’s activities, live music and local craft beer. 

In addition to No Name, participants for the barbeque competition will also include Tuck’s Tap & Grille, Al’s BBQ, Lulu’s on Main, Soul Infusion Tea House & Bistro, Lil Harvey’s/Sundog Real Estate and Cullowings Sports Grill.

“Barbeque is unique. If you can cook it until it’s done, it’s moist, let it rest and fall off of the bone, then you, my friend, have a meal that will make your soul proud,” said Tori Walters of Soul Infusion. “You have to love what you do, and you have to love the food while you cook it.”

 

No Name Sports Pub

Barbeque has been a big part of No Name since its inception. Fuller noted the business goes through 60 to 80 pounds of pork every two weeks. The meat finds itself in numerous dishes, from nachos to sandwiches, quesadillas to small pizzas.

“It’s the other white meat,” he said. “It’s extremely versatile. It has good flavor, and good flavor comes from good fat”

No Name buys the large butt slices of pork with a hearty layer of fat on top. They then use their own secret rub, cook it “slow and low,” hand pull it, then soak it in its own juices in their convection oven. The whole process hovers around 14 hours.

“I like using brown sugar in our rub and recipe, but I won’t say anything more than that,” Yarbrough said with a tight-lipped grin. “I’ve always loved barbeque. We switch it up here, but we also try to keep a familiar recipe that people will know and like.”

Beyond their in-house consumption, No Name also does special orders for those looking to pick up some pork, coleslaw and sauce for their backyard barbeques. Beyond that though, No Name is just ready to put their meat to the test at Woofstock.

“We have great barbeque, and we’re ready,” Yarbrough said. “We’ll see you at the competition.”

 

Tuck's Tap & Grille

It’s all business when it comes to barbeque at Tuck’s Tap & Grille in Cullowhee.

“Everything we do and make here is taken seriously,” said co-owner Bill Picon.

Though they only opened last Fall, Tuck’s hit the ground running with an array of handmade comfort foods, in-house sliced steaks and, of course, finger lickin’ barbeque. 

“We’re pulling barbeque almost everyday here,” Picon said. “We’re probably the freshest barbeque in this area.”

With a smoker onsite, Tuck’s takes a full pork loin and preps the meat for an hour. From there, they cover it in their rub, wrap it in tinfoil and baked it in its own juices for upwards of 12 hours until an internal temperature of 400 degrees is reached. Then, the meat is cooled for 45 minutes to reabsorb the juices, resulting in the succulent, smoky flavor.

“Barbeque has to be cooked fresh,” Picon said. “You can tell the difference between a fresh pull and the store-bought or ‘coward’ stuff. When it’s real barbeque, you’ll know.”

And with their signature barbeque, Picon aims to shake the misconception that they’re just a sports bar and not a place to get quality food.

“People just don’t know how good the food is here, and they still don’t know,” he said. “But, when they come in, they’re surprised, especially with how great the barbeque is.”

 

Soul Infusion

Dubbed the “Queen of BBQ,” Tori Walters of Soul Infusion in Sylva simply loves creating a meal for folks to sit and enjoy, especially if that meal is barbeque.

“It’s a lot of fun to toast up the grill and sit around with family and friends,” she said. “Barbeque is just wonderful happiness in your mouth when it’s cooked right.”

And Walters has the titles and experience to back up her enthusiasm. Last year, she won the barbeque pork and chicken contest at Woofstock. She’s also competed at the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival, Georgia Pecan Festival, as well as numerous weddings, gatherings and local competitions.

“I like a red sauce with a vinegar base,” she said. “I prefer a dry charcoal that’s started in a little chimney, handpicking my meats and spending 12 hours prepping, cooking and relaxing. When the meat comes off the fire, I put it in a cooler and boom shaka laka — it is legend. You can satisfy your curiosity and your taste buds.”

 

All about the sauce

No barbeque is complete without a sauce to top off the sizzling, flavorful meat. 

Cullowings Sports Grill will be providing the dipping sauces for Woofstock. Ranging from spicy to tangy and everything in between, the restaurant is all about the ideal condiments for authentic barbeque.

“The sauce is everything — it’s what makes the barbeque,” said Daniel Parris, manager of Cullowings. “Yes, you want great meat, but the sauce is what tops it off. You have to have those two things to make it all perfect.”

Parris noted how Cullowings employees are currently taste-testing several types of sauces to determine which will be chosen to bring to Woofstock. 

“We’re being really patient with finding the right sauces,” he said. “Woofstock and ARF do a lot of great things for the community, and we’re all happy to help this event grow — it’ll be a great day for barbeque.”

 

 

Want to go?

Woofstock — Blues, Brews & BBQ will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at McGuire Gardens in Sylva.

The event includes children’s activities and pet photography. Live music will be provided by Sugar Barnes & Dave Magill, Blues Mountain, and Free Range Blues featuring Jeremy Sims. The barbeque contest begins at 4 p.m., with winners announced at 7:30 p.m. Craft beer from Innovation Brewing will be sold starting at 4 p.m. 

All proceeds go to ARF/Jackson County Humane Society. Entry fee is a suggested donation of $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 12 and under.

877.273.5262 or www.facebook.com/arf.pets.

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