This past weekend, Grillocracy's own Clint Cantwell joined Smithfield as the premier purveyor of pork hosted the Smithfield Hog Wild Throwdown during the 37th Annual American Royal World Series of Barbecue®.
After nearly 20 hours of intense grilling fresh pork during the three-round, single-elimination tournament, Suzanne Clark of Phoenix, AZ topped five other Hog Wild Throwdown finalists for her winning recipe of Caramelized Onion & Bacon Stuffed Smithfield Pork Burgers with Balsamic Chipotle Glaze and Lime Hollandaise sauce.
As the Grand Prize winner, Clark took home a new 2016 Ford F-150 XL pickup truck and $2,000 in cash.
Award-winning celebrity pitmasters Tuffy Stone, Moe Cason, and Weber Grillmaster Kevin Kolman judged the recipes on originality, creativity, taste and tenderness, overall appearance, and presentation.
During each round, the contestants developed a unique grilling recipe featuring a different fresh pork cut, including Smithfield Prime St. Louis Style Ribs, Bone-in Pork Loin, and Signature Ground Pork.
“We were so impressed by the caliber of dishes that each finalist brought to the judging table – from Asian Style Pork Lettuce Wraps to Prickly Pear Glazed Ribs – the contestants truly showcased the versatility of fresh pork,” said Tuffy Stone. “It was a close competition, but in the end, Suzanne proved she could throw down with the best fresh pork recipes.”
A self-taught artist, stay-at-home mother of five, and home cook, Clark is no stranger to the food competition circuit. Having only started her cooking career five years ago, she’s taken home dozens of awards prior to her Smithfield Hog Wild Throwdown win. One of her most noted victories came this year when Clark’s cooking and competitive skills helped her earn the title of “The World Pasta Champion” at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. Other awards include placing in the Top Ten Recipe and Side Dish categories at the World Food Championships in 2013 and 2012 respectively, Champion of the 2014 Gilroy Garlic Festival, and much more. Clark is also a regular contributor to “Midday Arizona,” a local television show in Phoenix, as a home cook and lifestyle expert.
“When the pressure’s on during competitions, I always go back to my roots and cook from the heart,” said Clark. “I brought my Kentucky heritage and southwestern flare to each dish I created and am really proud of the results. Smithfield put on one great competition and I’m so excited to drive around town in my new Ford F-150!”
In addition to hosting the Smithfield Hog Wild Throwdown finale, Smithfield served as the presenting sponsor of the American Royal World Series of Barbecue®. All weekend long, attendees enjoyed delicious fresh pork rib samples and giveaways at the Smithfield stage. To view the official Hog Wild Throwdown contest rules, recipes, and grilling tips and tricks, visit www.SmithfieldThrowdown.com. To view the full list of winners of the 2016 American Royal, visit www.AmericanRoyal.com.
Also be sure to stay tuned for more on the Smithfield Hog Wild Throwdown including Suzanne's winning recipe!