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Sauce a hit at BBQ competition

June 26, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - "Cherry" may not pop into your head when you hear "barbecue," but Chris Carter nearly won a cooking competition by concocting a fruity sauce.

Carter's dark raspberry mixture captured second place in the sauce division at last weekend's National Capital Barbecue Battle in Washington, D.C.

Carter, 27, of Frederick, Md., was part of a team of five called Close Encounters of the Third Swine.

The team didn't place in three meat divisions, but had fun, said team member Nick Turano.

Turano, from Blue Ridge Mountain Cookery, Inc., in Waynesboro, and Carter, from Carter Control Systems in Frederick, who are friends, were teammates, too, this weekend. The rest of the team was Turano's wife, Jan; Ian Robinson from Blue Ridge Mountain Cookery; and Mike Evans from Carter Control Systems.

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From 9th Street to 14th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue was an open-air kitchen as chefs competed to prepare the best barbecued chicken, beef, lamb and pork.

The winners received prizes and berths to the Barbecue World Championships in Memphis, Tenn., in May. Carter said about 30 teams participated.

Carter said that after seeing an apple barbecue sauce one time, he thought about sauce in a new way.

He worked on his berry recipe for years and makes it when his family gets together and barbecues.

For the Barbecue Battle, Carter mixed three gallons of berry sauce in advance.

On Saturday, it was picked as one of nine finalists.

On Sunday, it was chosen as second best.

Turano said Carter reacted with joy, for doing so well, and with disappointment, for not winning.

Still, second place was excellent for such a competitive event, Turano said.

Close Encounters of the Third Swine also competed in the pork shoulder and ribs divisions Saturday and brisket division Sunday.

Turano said the team had fun, but realized it can improve. "We need to sharpen up our presentation package," he said.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, Turano noticed that every other team had white linen tablecloths, silverware and other elegant touches.

"They were puttin' on the ritz," he said.

The Close Encounters team had paper tablecloths and plastic cutlery.

Worried, Turano called his son in Washington, D.C., and asked him to race out and buy table settings, cocktail napkins, dishes and more.

The items arrived at 12:05 p.m., giving Close Encounters just 10 minutes to set up before the judges arrived, which they did.

Carter and Turano said the team may get together again for a competition in Richmond, Va., in August and hopes to compete in Washington again next year.

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