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Tuesday, 2 October, 2007 6:09 PM

Maker's Mark "Michigan BBQ Cookoff" in Harrison Township is Yummy Fun!

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / AMERICAJR.com

The team from 1999 Tavern, led by Fred Wollary, and their cha-cha master in the middle.

by Mike Wrathell
mwrathell@yahoo.com

 

 

The first ever Maker's Mark "Michigan BBQ Cook-off" by the blue waters of Lake St. Clair at Mac Ray Harbor in Harrison Township was such yummy fun I hope they make it an annual event. Twelve elite restaurants from Metro Detroit brought their best chefs to barbecue with Maker's Mark Bourbon Whiskey lamb, tender beef, ribs, lobster, and chicken for the plates of three lucky judges and an appreciative crowd who got to groove on the soft jazzy ambrosia of local band Twin Towers this past Sunday, on a perfect early autumnal day.

1999 Tavern from downtown Plymouth won the competition with their Carne di Vitello alla Astice, in American: Veal Chop stuffed with Lobster Stuffing, with Maker's Mark Glaze. Unfortunately, the judges scarfed it all up, but I did stuff myself with other delights, I assure you. 1999's top chef at the event, Fred Wollary, said, "All the teams were great; it was a great competition, and it was special to win." We hope they come back next year with more lobster stuffing!

Five Restaurant at The Inn at St. John's also in Plymouth took second place with a chorizo and rack of veal chop dish that knocked the socks off the judges. Terence Tarver, their Executive Sous Chef, said that Plymouth had to "represent" and represent they did! Rounding out the winner's circle was 4th Street Grille who has a special place in my heart because they gave out lots of tasty morsels of tender beef and even some barbecued corn-on-the-cob. Derek, Catherine, and David were fun and we are glad that Oakland County was also able to represent.

The band Twin Towers had people dancing as they doused themselves with mixed drinks liberally dosed with Maker's Mark Bourbon Whiskey. I have seen them perform at Tin Fish Resort in Fair Haven, too, and can vouch for their feel-good vibes. I am not sure if they were representing Macomb County, but let's say they were so my home county is not shut out.

We hope this event continues on and becomes an annual event. It was great fun and competition can sometimes bring the best out of people, as long as it does not include soccer moms and football dads screaming at their kids and the officials. I remember calling a kid out at third once when I was a tee ball ump and the lady coaching at third telling me, "You suck!" I kicked her out of the game, and the team's manager smiled when I told her. I guess she was a handful.

Anyways, Michigan needs more BBQ contests! Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / AMERICAJR.com

Derek Lino, Executive Chef at 4th Street Grille in Rochester, with one of the three lucky
lobster-stuffing stuffed judges.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / AMERICAJR.com

4th Street Grille's samples were most delightful.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / AMERICAJR.com

1999 Tavern also won a award for this chef's cha-cha!

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / AMERICAJR.com

The Maker's Mark glaze of 1999 Tavern looks good enough to chug down straight up!

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / AMERICAJR.com

The winning chef teams of the three top restaurants of the competition.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE WRATHELL / AMERICAJR.com

Twin Towers serenades the shores of Harrison Township.

 

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

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