Hogs & Kisses youngest competitors ever for BBQ festival

Published 3:25 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Left to right: Jim Tabb, founder of the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival; Hogs & Kisses team members Allison Herrmann and Madison Arrowood; and Mike Mills, national BBQ champion. (photo submitted by Brenda Bradshaw)

When the smoke rises over Harmon Field in Tryon on the weekend of June 8 and 9, a new record will be set at the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival.
Hogs & Kisses, the youngest team ever to compete here, will vie against the seasoned veterans. And team members Allison Herrmann and Madison Arrowood are serious about winning.
The two 14-year-olds competed for the first time and won big last October in the Future Legends of BBQ at Camp Mondamin near Flat Rock, N.C. On the way to the grand championship they took first in ribs and first in sauce. Their twice-baked potatoes took third place in competitors’ choice, and they placed third in the theme category.
Herrmann is the stepdaughter of Justin Hembree, pit master of Fast Eddie’s Fine Swine, and Arrowood is the daughter of Tryon Police Chief Jeff Arrowood.
Justin Hembree said when the girls told him they wanted to enter the Tryon contest, he suggested they might compete in the chicken and ribs categories. But Madison, who knows the contest rules, immediately responded, “But if we just do that, we can’t win the grand championship!”
As a result of this determination, they are entering all the required categories – pork shoulder, pork ribs, chicken and beef brisket. They are also cooking a whole hog, something only a few of the competing teams are equipped to do. The team also plans to enter the “Anything But” and the dessert contests on Friday. (“Anything But” refers to any entree that does not include meat from the four categories required for the grand championship).

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