Being Bruce -: Brunswick Stew Cook-Off, February 6, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brunswick Stew Cook-Off, February 6, 2010

It's always fun to try a new festival and this Marge and I headed out to Shallotte to the Brunswick Stew Cook-Off. Held today on the grounds of the Rourk Woods subdivision, this annual event is organized by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce. Marge and I were only able to go for an hour or so but in that time we saw some old friends, said hello to some recent acquaintances, and met some good cooks!

You can look below for a poster that describes the origin and history of Brunswick Stew, and, if that's not the way it really was, it's the way it should have been. Today Brunswick Stew generally has chicken, vegetables, sauce, seasonings and what ever else the cooks dream up to make their stew unique and tasty. The Cook-Off competition works like this: you pay $5 for six tickets; exchange each ticket at one of the 20 odd booths for a cup of stew, a plastic spoon and napkin and maybe piece of some type of bread (the variety was impressive) and hot sauce if you wish. Later on you vote for your favorite by putting colored tickets (one for best stew, one for best presentation). The award categories are for best stew in booths from media, nonprofits, individuals and restaurants.

Here's Marge sampling stew at one of the most fancy of the booths.

Marge with BCCC Events Director Megan Masser.

Linda Stinson of Patriot Management Systems, BCCC Executive Director Cathy Altman, Marge, and in the background with the New York Yankees cap, Billy Noble of Nobles Landscaping.

Same group as above with the addition of Chris Tyler of Carolina Tents and Events.

Cathy Altman and me.

Marge talking with one of the individual booth entrants.

The Purple Onion Cafe (a popular restaurant in Shallotte) had an attractive booth.

There were a few nonfood booths, this one sold handcrafted waterbirds made from PVC!

A look at the main venue.

The VFW entry was an award winner in the past I my tongue and tummy can attest that they know their stew!

This blow up attraction did its job, attracting kids.

A colorful line of booth tents.

A band was scheduled to start at noon but we had to leave prior to their arrival.

Here's the poster that explains how it all started. If you click on the image you should see a larger, more readable version.

Lancaster Farm had a huge cast iron pot of stew. I got to stir it with a canoe paddle.

Here's a closer look at the Lancaster Farm stew.

And one more of the proud stew stirrer.

This was where we voted for best stew.

Finally, a couple more shots of various booths at the Cook-Off.

It was a a little chilly (in the upper 40s) so the hot stew was wonderful and I didn't try one I didn't like (I sampled 9 in all). One had a mustardy flavor, one I was sure had curry, and others tasted like the best homemade stew most of us have ever had. Overall it was a fun time for a good cause. We'll be back next year.