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Barbecue cook-off needs more chefs

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  • | 5:00 a.m. March 7, 2012
Summerfield resident Charlie Morse, and his son, Connor, are teaming up for the barbecue competition.
Summerfield resident Charlie Morse, and his son, Connor, are teaming up for the barbecue competition.
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — Summerfield Bluffs resident Charlie Morse has been told many times his barbecue is better than average.

In fact, it’s gotten rave reviews.

“Everybody says it’s the best they’ve ever had,” Morse said. “I guess it’s time to find out.”

Morse, with his son, Connor, was the first barbecue-enthusiast to sign up as a contestant for the High on the Hog Barbecue Contest, an amateurs-only, people’s choice barbecue competition slated for April 29, on Lakewood Ranch Main Street. And although a few competitors have stepped up to the challenge, event organizer Julia DeCastro is seeking more amateur cooks to heat up their grills and compete in the contest, which has a grand prize of $1,000 for the winning chef.

“It’s going to be fun,” DeCastro said. “I’m excited about it.”

Grill teams of up to four people will have less than six hours to set up and grill up enough barbecue to offer 500 2-ounce portions to event-goers. Teams must provide their own tent and grill as well as cooking rigs.
Organizers will supply a 12-foot-by-15-foot space and one 8-foot table to each competing team.

DeCastro said the idea for the competition came as a result of the annual barbecue cook-off between Lakewood Ranch Main Street restaurants each summer. Each year, residents, she said, call hoping to participate but previously have not been able to do so.

“We thought it would be fun to open it up to backyard barbecue-ers,” DeCastro said, noting the annual restaurant competition will continue as usual. “(Contestants) cannot be a professional (chef). That’s the only rule we have.”

Entry fee for the contest is $125 per team by April 1. They also will be responsible for providing 500 2-ounce portions for the competition.

DeCastro noted aspiring chefs who are concerned with the entry costs can ask for business sponsorships from their employer or other companies as a way to defer personal costs and provide a valued marketing tool for the businesses.

At the event, attendees will pay $5 for a card that allows them to sample barbecue from all the competing teams.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

High on the Hog Barbeque Contest
WHEN: April 29
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch Main Street
REGISTRATION $125 per team by April 1. For a registration form, visit and click on April 29 on the events calendar. Main registration and entry fee should be sent to: Main Street at Lakewood Ranch, Attn: High on the Hog Event, 14400 Covenant Way, Lakewood Ranch, 34202.


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