Road Kill Grill Takes Top Honors For 2010 Roadkill Contest
Marlinton, WV – A beautiful sunny day Saturday drew an estimated 18,000 people to the town of Marlinton for the 2010 Roadkill Cook Off and Autumn Harvest Festival. The Roadkill Grill took the top honors in the contest.
Serving Decomposed Delicacy, aka seasoned venison with cheese and bacon, they wowed all three judges in the competition. Team Roadkill Grill is Sue Helton, James Carpenter and Joel Callison. They won $1000.00, a trophy and bragging rights.
One of three teams using venison as the main component, they faced a knowledgeable judge in Chris Lawrence, avid outdoorsman and West Virginia Metro News radio personality.
“I do particularly like venison because I was raised on it and it’s all I eat” says Lawrence. “I had the ability to really be able to compare that to say okay, this is good or this is average or this could be a lot better.”
[Heather] “So, do you consider yourself a roadkill connoisseur? [Lawrence] “I guess, I like to eat, I think that’s all that really counts.”
Gourmet Chef Lisa Witkowski came down from New York City to be a judge for the cook off. Witkowski is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and has an impressive resume when it comes to working with food. But this is the first time she’s judged a contest like this.
Like Lawrence, she favored those teams who used more typical roadkill items in their preparations.
“If you come up with a cool name for chicken you’re not going to get as many points as someone who at least uses venison” says Witkowksi.
She says it was the quality and hospitality that set the Roadkill Grill apart.
“They did use some beautiful venision”she says “and the recipe was fantastic, and it was so well presented. I wish you could convey the little table and the setting and the hospitality. And I think it’s not that other people fell short, it’s just that they hit the mark in so many regards.”
Former West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland returned to Pocahontas for her second turn as a judge. She says the economy may have been a reason for a smaller number of entrants in this years’ contest, but it was no less competitive.
“The competition is stiff” says Ireland. “It was stiff three years ago, it was stiff this year. In fact the one, two and three spots were separated by only one point each.”
“It’s hard to put this together as a contestant. You have to bring not only your food, but your costumes and your props, grills and all the things to make this go – it’s a long day for these contestants, and I’m glad they do it.”
Second place went to the Go Marlinton Team (team captain David Zorn), with their recipe for Deer Drop Sausage at the Drop Dead Caf . Third place honors and the coveted Peoples’ Choice award went to Two Crooks and A Cook (team captain Nick Anderson), with Kung Pow Panda and General Tso’s Cat – aka pork shoulder and chicken thighs.
First time competitor Frog Holler Family (team captain Mary Geiger)won the Showmanship award with their recipe for Pavement Scrunched Croakin Bullfrog Legs.
Other competitors in the 2010 Roadkill Cook Off:
Bad Bull Barbecue from Verona, Va (Fluffy S. Link) with Venison Chili Bad Bull Style
Chicken Chokers from Buckeye, WV (Rich Carpenter)with Hot Rod Rooster (chicken)
Snowshoe Mountain Resort (Doug Honnor)with Forever Wild Boar Stew
The Golden Cat from Hillsboro, WV (Blair Campbell)with Split Splat Cat (pork)