The 5th Annual Fresh Catch ‘Hogs Gone Wild’ Smoke Meat Cook-off, Custom Bike Show and Hog Hunting Tournament took place on Father’s Day Weekend, Saturday, June 15, 2013, from 10am to 5:30pm at Cycle City, a Harley Davidson & Kawasaki dealership located on Nimitz Highway and Pu’uloa Road, in the airport, near the Mapunapuna area.
This was the first time the event has been held there, whereas past events have taken place at Aloha Stadium and in Kaneohe at Heeia State Park.
Without further ado, here are the teams entered in this year’s ‘Hog Gone Wild’ smoked meat competition:
1.) VRM Pit Crew
2.) Prime Time Smoker
3.) Simply Smoked ABCDE
4.) Smokin’ Shiggy
5.) Guava Smoked
6.) Diamond Head Market & Grill
7.) Capt Smokey
8.) Action Smokers
9.) Pilau M/C Oahu
10.) Team Hoku
11.) Always Smokin’ Sum’n
As always, great team names! Should I decide to enter in a future contest, my team name would of course be ‘Tasty Island’. Yet I was thinking of modifying it slightly to suit the event, going with ‘Tasty Smokin’ Islanders’. How you figgah?
Obviously vegetarian types need not apply, as events like this are predominantly all about meat, meat and more meat. Case in point…
Smoked Pork on Chinese Bao (steamed bun) with Hoisin Sauce
Smoked Alaska Black Bear Jerky
While I have yet to enter as a contestant in this annual competition, this has been the second year I’ve stood in as an official judge along with several returnees, while joining us were upper management staff from the Cycle City/JN group dealership, the hosting sponsor of this year’s event…
2013 ‘Hogs Gone Wild’ Smoked Meat Contest official judges: Chef Russell Siu (owner, 3660 on the Rise & Kaka’ako Kitchen), Gary Ishimoto (President, Diamond Head Seafood),Lanette Lopez (retired Head Chef Merchant Marine for Matson), Kirk Wong (CFO Cycle City/J.N. Auto Group) Nadine Kam (Star Advertiser food columnist), Jay Hamocon (Parts and Service Manager, Cycle City) David Higashiyama (Director of Marketing, JN Auto Group), Pomai Souza (food blogger, The Tasty Island, retail advertising graphic artist and webmaster), Mike Diaz (Vice President, Ali’i Bike Club Kauai), Tambi Lowstan (General Manager, Cycle City)
Like last year, I brought Poi for each judge to serve as our palate buffer….
Poi: The official judges palate buffer!
Which they were all stoked! Especially Chef Russell. Whoah, he wen’ whack ’em! Still waiting for Honolulu Poi Company (Taro Brand) to sponsor poi for the next Smoke Meat event. Come on folks!
This year’s awards trophies were handed out in the form of bamboo surf cutting boards…
Speaking of awards, here are this year’s results!…
GRAND PRIZE and PEOPLE’S CHOICE OVERALL
Alwayz Smok’n Sum’n, $1,000
1st place: VRM Pit Crew, $1,000 cash award
2nd place: Alwayz Smok’n Sum’n, $ 500
3rd place: Smokin’ Shiggy, $100
4th place: Guava Smoked, $50
5th place: Smo’KING, $100 gift certificate
6th place: Team Hoku, $50 gift certificate
7th place: (tie) Simply Smoked ABCDE, and Pilau M/C Oahu, $25
1st place: Action Smokers, $250
2nd place: Guava Smoked, $100
3rd place: Smo’KING, $100 gift certificate
4th place: Diamond Head Market & Grill, $50
5th place: Alwayz Smok’n Sum’n, $ 50 gift certificate
6th place: Capt. Smokey, $25
1st place: Guava Smoked, $250
2nd place: VRM Pit Crew, $100
3rd place: (tie) Smokin’ Shiggy, and Action Smokers, $100 gift certificate
5th place: Alwayz Smok’n Sum’n, $50
6th place: Team Hoku, $25
1st place: VRM Pit Crew, $250
2nd place: (tie) Capt. Smokey, and Prime Time Smoker, $100
4th place: Alwayz Smok’n Sum’n, $50
5th place: Smokin’ Shiggy; $50 gift certificate
1st place: Guava smoked, $250
2nd place: Capt. Smokey, $100
3rd place: Alwayz Smok’n Sum’n, $100 gift certificate
4th place: Action Smokers, $50
5th place: VRM Pit Crew, $50 gift certificate
6th place: Prime Time Smoker, $25
Congratulations to all the winners!
Beautiful custom HOG bikes on display at the ‘Hogs Gone Wild’ event at Cycle City
Along with the smoked meat general public “People’s Choice” sampling session and judging for the smoked meat competition, there was also a custom Harley motorcycle show, live music (modern rock) and a wild pig hunting competition for largest/heaviest boar & sow. For the finale, a “Throwdown” cook-off was held, done ‘Iron Chef’ style, where the two top prize winners were pitted against each other to create an appetizer and entree dish using a set of common ingredients, including meat, vegetables, seasonings and sauces, cooked on smoker grills fueled by flaming hot kiawe wood.
As for the task of judging, like last year, we were broken up into teams for each category: Pork, Beef, Chicken, Fish & Anything Goes. Fortunately I got what I requested, judging the ‘Anything Goes’ category. Since I’ve taken on a predominantly pescetarian diet, not that I used to before, but now more so, eating too much meat doesn’t agree with me at all. Thankfully, most of the dishes that landed in the ‘Anything Goes’ category were some type of seafood, plus one stuffed red pepper item, however that was also wrapped with bacon. While we also got handed the smoked deer and bear stuff. Where’s the smoked Ostrich? And Gator? Common’ guys!
I have two recommended changes they should make next year for the judges.
Number one is, either put the judges in an enclosed room or tent (ventilated of course) during the judging session, or take the AROMA criteria off the ballot, as out in the open air on a windy day like it was at this event, we were all but unable to score that. You just couldn’t smell anything unless you were to put the food right up to your nostrils, which would be silly and pointless. IIRC, I left the AROMA criteria blank on my score sheet, as I didn’t want a low score there to bring down the average of the other criteria scores. “Aroma” was completely irrelevant even under that tent (with no blockades) on a windy day.
Secondly, they should have the contestants include at least a name of their submitted dishes written on the label so we know what we’re judging. As it is, all we see are team numbers. I’d go even further than that by giving them a Food Sample Description sheet to attach with each of their submitted dishes that looks like this:
UP IN SMOKE
Team # 1
Dish Category (Pork, Beef, Chicken, Fish or Anything Goes): Pork
Dish Name (“Smoked Okinawan Shoyu Pork”): Uncle Jack’s Paniolo Style Big Island Pulehu Smoked Pork
Preparation & cooking method (smoke house, WSM, open pit, etc.): Marinaded over 24 hours then smoked in a Weber Grill for 5 hours.
Cooking fuel (Kiawe, Guava, Lychee wood, propane, Charcoal, etc.): Guava & Lychee wood
Additional ingredients: I could tell you, but then I’d have to smoke you
Secret ingredient: See answer above
Comments: Give me all top scores!
This way we not only know what we’re sampling, but also what to look for, and what’s missing, or why it looks or tastes the way it does. They do that verbally on Iron Chef and Chopped, so I don’t see why that can’t be done in written form here. Besides, the judges are allowed to walk and visit the competitors booths before the judging, so it isn’t like its entirely “blind”, anyhow.
Other than that, it’s all smokin’ good and ono! Especially with the Poi!
I didn’t stay for the entire event, as I had other domestic tasks going on that day, so didn’t get to cover the Iron Chef style “Showdown” finale, the Wild Pig Hunters’ weigh-ins or the awards. However as I was leaving, there were plenty of people still arriving, and the place was already pretty crowded, so all in all it was another successful event by Fresh Catch, the competitors and everyone involved.
Huge mahalo to organizers Linda & Reno for all the hard work, and of course inviting Yours Truly once again to judge. Supah ono ‘kine smoked grindz and lotsa’ fun!
See you again next year!
Following is a gallery of photos I shot at the event with many more on top of the ones shown in the post above. Enjoy.
• Smoke gets in your opu and heart – Nadine Kam, Star Advertiser
• 1st Annual Smoked Meat Competition a Big Hit – The Tasty Island
• 3rd Annual ‘Up in Smoke’ Challenge – The Tasty Island
• 4h Annual ‘Up in Smoke’ Cook-Off – The Tasty Island
• Smoked Tako (recipes & cooking demo’) – The Tasty Island
• Big Island Smoked Pork (recipe & cooking demo’) – The Tasty Island
• Big Island Eat: Roy’s Smoked Marlin & Smoked Ahi – The Tasty Island