Written by Andrea Watson Friday, 14 August 2009 00:00Sunday, June 28 dawned sunny and warm, and was like many other Sundays in Port Washington, expected to be a very nice day. Residents were out and about, catching up with neighbors, making plans for the day with family and friends. As people strolled along Main Street, they were attracted to a flurry of activity over on Irma Avenue that looked rather interesting, and many stopped to inquire. Others soon joined them, and by mid-day, the corner of Irma Avenue and Main Street was filled with people. The first Annual BBQ Cook-off, sponsored by Alpers with proceeds to benefit the Community Chest of Port Washington had begun.
The scene on Irma Avenue was straight out of a movie about small town America. Young and old, grandparents with grandchildren, mothers and fathers pushing strollers, friends and neighbors, came to support the Community Chest and enjoy an afternoon of great BBQ. The day was filled with activities, including music by The Mondays, a Long Island-based band that donated their time and music to add to the festivities. Eleven teams cooked throughout the day while judges waited to test the results of their labors and a Weber Barbecue consultant was on hand to demonstrate versatile grilled delicacies. There was a BBQ eating contest, sponsored by Wings Plus that was just hilarious. Three restaurants - Harbor Q, Wings Plus and Bad Bob’s - sold delicious food to the hungry audience. And for those who desired a little sweet after their meal, The Sweet Comfort Bakery was right there, ready to please. The day was truly a community affair, and those who took the time to stop by to support the Community Chest of Port Washington, and the efforts of the great people at Alper’s Hardware Store, were treated to a really fun day with great food. Comments were overheard, such as by one elderly man, “I hope you do this again next year!”, and another who said, “This is truly a community event. This is great!”
The mastermind behind the First Annual BBQ Cook-Off was Adam Novick, a fourth generation Alper, who is making his mark at their store on the corner of Main Street and Irma Avenue. He is a genius at organization and has the enthusiasm of a young man on the move. His excitement about the event was obvious throughout the day, from the helpers at Alpers, to the volunteers from the Community Chest, to the teams Adam encouraged to compete in the event. He is already planning next year’s event and had ideas to improve on a very successful first year.
By the end of the day, Sara and Steve Edelson, Team LaDiliQ, were crowned BBQ Champions of Port Washington. They had stiff competition from 10 other teams vying for the title and the opportunity to take home the winning trophy: Team Name (Chief Chef): BBQ Brothers (Dan Bettan), Daddy McQ’s (David McConn), The Tailgators (Matt Scheckner), Bella BBQ (Mike Ertel), LaDiliQ (Stephen Edelson), Drama Smoker (Mark Gamell), Grillin’ & Chillin’ (Chris Pattie), Burnt Lemon (Dan Eisner), True American (Greg Maddaloni), KC Smokers (Jabe Jacobson) and Team Phillips (Julian Phillips). Final results: Chicken Division: 1. Stephen/Sara Edelson (Team LaDiliQ), 2. Dan Eisner (Team Burnt Lemon). Ribs Division:1. David McConn (Team Daddy McQs), 2. Dan Bettan (Team BBQ Brothers). Overall: 1. Stephen/Sara Edelson (LaDiliQ) , 2. Dan Eisner (Team Burnt Lemon). The Judges included personnel from Bad Bobs, Wings Plus and Harbor Q, with Robert Elinger, from Baked to Perfection joining the group. Mr. Elinger has competed on the Food Network and is a qualified food judge. Mrs. Gamell, who celebrated a rather momentous birthday at the event, was an Honorary Judge.
The winner of the wings eating contest was Alex Alvayero, who managed to nibble his way through 15 oz of wings in the allotted time. Second place went to Tyler Rice (13 oz) and third place was Matt Cohen (10 oz). Tom Rice participated, but had no chance of winning! Rather than stuff his face as fast as he could, he very carefully placed a napkin around his neck, straightened his knife and fork appropriately in front of him, and slowly and with precision, began to cut his wings delicately with his knife and fork. Tom was hilarious and the audience loved it!
Many thanks to those who helped make the event a success: Alpers Hardware Store, who donated a percentage of the day’s sales to the Community Chest of Port Washington, Weber Grills, who donated a gas grill, Miele Vacuum, who donated a vacuum, The Mondays, who donated their time and free music CDs, the Lutheran Church donated all the tables, and to the Town of North Hempstead, who helped in planning the event.
It has been said many times that Port Washington is a great town. People move to our corner of the world because of its small town feeling and neighborly people. There couldn’t have been a better example of the “small town” nature of Port Washington than the first ever Annual BBQ Cook-Off. Look forward to a repeat next year. In the meantime, you may want to try out the BBQ offerings at the three restaurants which supported the event…just to tide you over until the Second Annual BBQ Cook-off, in June 2010.