The smell of various kinds of pork wafts through McClurg dining hall. A band plays bluegrass music. T-shirts are handed out, commemorating the event. A table is set up with three trophies: purple with a golden pig on top. Another table has been covered in trash bags to prepare for the pie-eating contest. People of all ages have come out to enjoy the annual Fabulous Four Regional Barbecue and pie-eating contest. Four teams of Sewanee students are gathered here to serve their special recipes inspired by different Southern regions and cities of the United States. The swim team presented the Swimming Swine team, TKP and KA presented the Jurassic Pork team, the soccer team made Kansas City Ribs, and SAE and PKE made Memphis ribs. Each team had been preparing for the contest for a few weeks. They created recipes based on their particular region, and then ran a trial run of their barbecue a few days before the event. “Each region has a specific flavor,” says William Peebles of the MTV ribs team. “Our city was Memphis, so we created a new interpretation of Memphis sour ribs, influenced by Greek flavors.” Soccer player Ramsy Seagal (C’17) said, “it took a lot of research to come up with the right recipe, and we basically combined a few to create it.”
Once the teams created and tested their recipes, they were ready for the real event. The teams arrived at McClurg hours before the contest on Saturday to prepare the meat. The McClurg staff then cooked it. Most of the meat took about five hours to cook. Their hard work paid off, and every team served delicious meat. The McClurg staff provided yummy sides of mac n’ cheese, beans, potato salad, and coleslaw. “I really enjoyed the contest,” says senior Drew Smith (C’15) of the Swimming Swine team, “working with my team and getting an opportunity to do something different was so much fun. The kitchen staff was very helpful and delightful to work with!”
Once the crowd had had their fill of barbecue, the attention turned to the pie-eating contest. Each team had at least one person entered in the contest. The pie-eaters had to eat one cherry pie as fast as possible. Brian Glatt (C’15) of the Swimming Swine team was the victor; he finished his pie in a minute and a half. When he came up for air covered in whipped cream and cherries, his first words were, “I need a tissue and a vomit bag.” Luckily, nobody was sick and the event proceeded according to schedule. Once the pie-eaters had cleaned up a little, Dean Hagi presented the trophies. The Swimming Swine team took third place for their pulled pork. There was a tie for second place between MTV ribs and Jurassic Pork. The Sewanee Soccer team took first place for their Kansas City ribs. Thanks to all the participants, the McClurg staff, and the Student Activities committee for organizing such a successful, enjoyable, and delicious event!