Once you have done food competitions, it is hard to wean yourself away . Such is the case with 2007 Taste of Savannah. So The General decides to go up against some of the big hotels and restaurants here in Savannah…along with an unlikely cooking partner, The Old Savannah City Mission. Why? might you ask?
It all started back in November when TLW and I volunteered to help the Mission smoke some turkeys for their Day of Great Thanksgiving. We were so impressed by the work of the Mission and its year-long residential program called the “Urban Training Institute” that we started volunteering there to help with some other projects. Along the way we found some students who particularly liked working with food. We are now “Volunteer Faculty Members-Culinary Arts Specialists” for the Mission.
Getting back to the Taste of Savannah. We had two entries which we decided to enter in the Appetizer category. The first was a beef brisket ‘biscuit’ topped with a deep fried onion ring (Ore-Ida Onion Ringers) and a light squirt of sauce. We used the Onion Ringers because they had a consistent small size that worked best on the small roll we were using. In fact we counted @ 30+ ringers per package. We cut the sandwich in half and secured each piece with cool picks we purchased on line from Pick On Us.
The second entry was a pulled pork sandwich topped with a peppery vinegar cole slaw. We cut that small roll in half as well and used different picks to differentiate the choices.
The cole slaw dressing we used is from Mike Mill’s book Peace, Love and Barbecue on p. 14.
2 C apple cider vinegar
2 C sugar
1 1/2 T canola oil
1/2 C chopped onion
1/4 C green bell pepper
3/4 t celery seed
1/2 t kosher salt, finely ground
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/4 t chopped garlic
We quadrupled the recipe to provide enough slaw for the 1000+ people in attendance. Both of our entries were well received and word spread fast especially about our brisket. Before we knew it we could hardly make sandwiches fast enough…but never once did we give out…although it got close many times!
Now I wish I could tell you that we won the whole thing, or at least the Appetizer category. That not being the case, we really went into it feeling that we won before we ever made the first sandwich. We had a marvelous time working with the students from the Urban Training Institute and they really enjoyed themselves as well. We also had an opportunity to introduce many Savannahians to our barbecue, and as a result we have already booked several parties for this spring. In that regard, everyone came out a winner!