Though they benefited greatly from the assistance of Baton Rouge-based butcher Jordan Ramirez, a bunch of guys from Shreveport accomplished something highly unlikely this past weekend: On their first attempt, they won the Porkpourri category at Hogs for the Cause in New Orleans. Hogs for the Cause (which has become so prominent in the competition barbecue world that most folks with an interest in barbecue just call it “Hogs”) is an enormous barbecue competition and fundraiser benefiting pediatric brain cancer patients. The 2017 edition of the festival, held March 31 and April 1, raised more than $1.3 million dollars and was attended by an estimated 30,000 people.
Among the 92 cooking teams competing for prizes in categories like best sauce, best ribs and fan favorite there was one team from Shreveport: Pork City BBQ.
“We only formed our barbecue team less than a year ago. We knew that we were getting in over our heads by competing at Hogs for the Cause, but we figured that there was only one way to learn and that was just by jumping in there with ’em,” said Chad Robertson of Pork City BBQ, who works as a medical physicist at Regional Urology. “We weren’t even planning on entering the porkpourri category.”
“To be quite honest, we didn’t really even know what the porkpourri category was,” said Pork City BBQ team member Jared Moss. “The majority of the team is literally just getting into barbecue and learning how to do it, and this was their first competition ever. That’s what makes this so crazy.”
The porkpourri category has developed a reputation for being the anything-goes, over-the-top category where cooks and chefs really show out. Other categories like best pork butt, best sauce and best ribs are self-explanatory, but entrants in the porkpourri category can and do enter just about anything they’d like. Pork City BBQ won with a green curry-stuffed boudin served with pickled daikon and jicama, crushed peanuts and a Thai sauce.
Robertson and Moss are both quick to point out that Jordan Ramirez, a butcher at Baton Rouge’s Iverstine Farms, came up with the recipe for the prize-winning boudin. Ramirez, a last-minute addition to the team, met many of his Pork City BBQ teammates for the first time on day one of the festival.
“I make boudin on a regular basis at Iverstine Farms, and at home I cook a lot of Thai food, Indian food and things like that,” Ramirez said. “I just wanted to try a Thai green curry boudin, so I gave it a shot.”
Will there ever be a chance for locals in Shreveport-Bossier to taste the prize-winning green curry boudin? Moss told me that he hopes there will be an opportunity sometime in the future.
If you’d like to hear more about this unlikely rookie season win, the Pork City BBQ guys will be appearing on SportsTalk Radio on 100.7 FM at 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.
Featured photos for this post were submitted by Jared Moss and Chad Robertson.