Early morning at the Hog Roast | Rock Candy

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Early morning at the Hog Roast

Posted By on Sat, May 4, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The Capital Hotels pig Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast image
  • The Capital Hotel's pig

My Saturday morning ritual of taking my two-year-old by the Argenta Farmer's Market for some fresh eggs made for a nice excuse to check out the progress of the Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast teams. At 7 this morning, the scene had the flavor of an early morning deer camp — booze, coffee, camper chairs and nary a woman in sight. Oh and the mouthwatering smell of fire-roasted pork and smoke. About half the teams seem to be using the covered grill in an above ground pit set-up that was provided. Above and below are the variations I saw before my kid had enough.

Travis McConnell, who's heading up the Capital Hotel's team (above), said he was running ahead of schedule and was soon to tamp down the fire. He put the pig on the spit after 11 and didn't sleep.

The Renos Pit Crew Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast image
  • The Renos Pit Crew

The Reno's team is one of at least two teams using a Caja China box, a roasting box lined with aluminum that probably originated in Cuba and probably doesn't have anything to do with the Chinese. In Louisiana they call it a Cajun microwave, on account of the speed with which it can cook whole animals.

Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast image The Farmer and the Chef from St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital
  • The Farmer and the Chef' from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Nathanael Wills, who's part of The Root Cafe's team, said everyone said, "Whoa," when the St. Jude's team rolled in with its professional rig last night. Team leader Miles McMath is both the director of culinary operations for St. Jude and a farmer of Heritage Hogs, so this ain't his first rodeo.

Local Limes The Porkshank Redemption team Arkansas Times Heritage Hog Roast image
  • Local Lime's The Porkshank Redemption team

Ben Brainard, of Local Lime's The Porkshank Redemption, said his team got their pig on their automatic spit a little after 11 p.m. last night. He'd managed a two hour nap. Note the newly opened beer in the background. This was about 7:30 a.m.

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