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10-22-2008, 10:56 AM
Wild Game & BBQ Cook-off

Cooking up a wild time in Fritchie Park

By Anne Lautzenheiser
St. Tammany News
Published on Monday, October 20, 2008 9:45 AM CDT

With the start of bow-hunting season often comes the taste for wild game, and the recent Wild Game & BBQ Cook-off at Fritchie Park in Slidell did not disappoint.

Thirty-four teams competed in the event, which drew an estimated crowd of at least 2,000 people. Slidell Police Chief Freddy Drennan, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, hosts the annual event, and proceeds from the $10 admission, sponsorships and beverage sales are directed to Community Christian Concern.

Run by executive director the Rev. Eugene Wellington, the nonprofit organization serves the area needy by helping to provide clothing, food, counseling and other vital services. As the beneficiary of the event,
Mike Pike of Pike'��s Collision presides over a massive portable grill and broiler at the cook-off. Pike'��s team was one of several to compete in all five categories at the event.

Wellington’s team did not participate in the competition, but joined in for fun with an African dish of venison curry and red stag sausage.

“I guarantee this is the first time this dish has been served in Louisiana,” said Wellington, a native of Sierra Leone, a country on the coast of West Africa.

The cook-off is the group’s only organized fundraiser, and the support is needed now more than ever, as the number of cases handled by CCC each month has tripled since this time last year.

Wellington expressed his gratitude to participants and attendees.

“Everything you do goes to help someone in this community,” he said. “It helps provide food, pay utility bills or fill prescriptions.”

Attendees cast their vote by depositing a bean in a jar at the booth of their choice. Fire District 1 Chief of Administration Chris Kaufmann joined up with his brother, Dave, of K.B. Kaufmann & Company, leading enthusiastic chants of “Who let the dogs out?” each time they scored a bean. Both credited their mother, Tina, with at least nine beans.

“No one else had any desserts,” said Chief Kaufmann. “People were giving us beans just for having brownies.”

Kaufmann’s team, like many, competed in all five categories, which were wild game, beef, pork, fowl and seafood, and won the People’s Choice award for their efforts.

A new addition to this year’s contest, seafood turned out to be one of the top categories, right up there with wild game as the most cooked items.

Additional winners were: Drennan Boys, Beef; Men of Integrity, Fowl; Cousin’s Catering, Seafood; Pike’s Collision, Pork; and Morrison, Wild Game.