HARRISON – When Tammy and Trisha Galloway of Longer Table in Harrison first opened their business in the Harrison City Market, they had lots of ideas for how to give back to the community which had been so welcoming of them and their business. One idea was to hold events on the block of N. Second Street between Main and Beech, and their first such foray came to fruition Sept. 3 with their Longer Table and Harrison City Market BBQ Grill Off.
A registration fee of $25 earned entrants the opportunity to compete with the limitation of only one meat per grill or smoker. Tammy Galloway noted that all proceeds from the event would go to the Harrison High School Prom Committee, Longer Table Scholarship Fund and the Harrison City Market.
Competitors and their team members were getting down to work Saturday, dialing up the propane and chimneying the charcoal as they prepared to impress the judges once 2 p.m. rolled around. Those competitors included: Dennis McCoy of Clare, Jim Woods of Harrison, Chris Gepford of Leroy, Brayden Dee of Gladwin, and Jerret Pratt of Harrison.
These were serious grillers, and all had their sights set on the prizes. They included the grand prize Traeger Smoker donated by Ace Hardware of Clare and Longer Table; 2nd place prize Broil King Baron four-burner grill donated by Harrison Do-It Best; and 3rd place prize Makers Mark 22-inch indoor griddle provided by Longer Table.
Judges on the day were Wayne Nalevayko, Nate Hulliberger, Justin Cavanaugh and Maye Tessner-Rood. And they truly had their work cut out for them as they took on a job they could really sink their teeth into – tasting multiple meticulously prepared meats/meat-based entrees, each of which had to be evaluated and assigned points based on criteria provided. The resultant scores determined the winners. All of the judges have to be commended for their diligent attention to every detail, savoring and appreciating each entry in equal measure.
Finally, it was time to announce the results, starting with the grand prize winner. When his name was called out, 16-year-old Brayden Dee literally jumped for joy. And, being a fairly tall guy, he caught some serious air – which was followed by some equally joyous hugging. Dee’s winning entry was Bacon Wrapped, Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with a Sage Cream Sauce.
Next came the awarding of 2nd place, which went to Jerret Pratt. He, likewise, was very pleased with the win. Then Pratt was advised he had won the 3rd place prize as well. Pratt competed with three different meats, thus used three separate grills. As the saying goes, two out of three ain’t bad, and it was clear the beaming Pratt would have agreed.
Competitors and judges alike were complimentary on the success of the well-run event and thanked the hosts for providing them the opportunity to participate.
Dee took delight in learning that his current employer, Pale Blue in Gladwin, had its entrepreneurial beginnings at the Harrison City Market business incubator. He and others stated their intention to return for another competition in the future.
Longer Table has more community-focused fun up its sleeves, including various themed special teas and, shortly, a huge Halloween event in conjunction with the city’s Trunk or Treat. Word has it, that event will include a top secret surprise. Stay tuned.
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