What: Beast Feast Bar-B-Que Contest at Chattanooga Market
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, May 26
Where: First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Reggie White Blvd.
What puts the "cue" in barbecue?
Is it the wood, the sauce, the grilling technique, the rub, the timing, the meat itself?
Chattanoogans will get to put their stamp on their favorite barbecue on Sunday, May 26, when Chattanooga Market hosts the fifth annual Beast Feast Bar-B-Que Contest at First Tennessee Pavilion.
Nine area barbecue restaurants -- Chatty Town BBQ, Choo Choo BBQ, Cornerstone BBQ, Haute Cuisine, Lockhart's Fire & Smoke Catering, Poppy's Smokehouse, Porkers BBQ, Smoke & Ash BBQ and Sugar's Ribs -- will attempt to earn the designations of Judges' Choice and People's Choice.
"They know what barbecue is all about," said Melissa Siragusa, marketing and media relations director for the Market. "This is a friendly, fun kind of thing."
Choo Choo BBQ and Cornerstone BBQ were last year's People's Choice and Judges' Choice winners, respectively. Porker's was honorable mention in both categories.
The winning pair, plus Porker's and Lockhart's Fire & Smoke Catering, are returning from last year's contest.
Market visitors will select the People's Choice winner by choosing $1 bites from the various pit masters and filling out a ballot for their favorite. The bites will be distributed in small, clear cups, with an accompanying fork.
Each barbecue restaurant also will serve plates of chicken, pork or beef with prices set by the restaurants.
The Judges' Choice award will be earned through rankings compiled by designated representatives of each restaurant. To make it fair, they will sample the fare of each of their competitors, but not of their own.
Siragusa said Market patrons at the Beast Feast also get a kick out of the annual pig roast, which is separate from the contest.
"It's an actual pig on a jig being smoked," she says. "The men love it. The women think it's disgusting. It's truly a strange display."
The Stratoblasters, a popular local party band, will offer rock 'n' roll favorites on the EPB Stage at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Annabelle's Curse, a Bristol, Tenn., band will play at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.