NEWBERRY — The judges scores and public’s votes have been calculated and there is now a new 2017 Pork in the Park grand champion. Out of 15 teams, only one team came out on top as the grand champion.
Doko Smoke out of Blythewood took home the grand champion title, walking away with $600 and a prize trophy. Doko Smoke also took home prizes for second place in the ribs category and first place in chicken.
Doko Smoke is a family owned and operated business, first opening its doors in 2014.
Tony Crout is the pitmaster of the team, having competed on the competition barbecue circuit for three seasons, completing 27 events. This year’s Pork in the Park was the first year that Doko Smoke has competed in a Newberry competition. They found out about the Pork in the Park from fellow competitors Biggy Boys BBQ.
Doko Smoke first became involved in barbecuing through a cooking event in Ridgeway.
“We’re big on the Ridge. We’ve been cooking there since 2001 and in 2013 we started getting real competitive with it. We opened a restaurant and then it’s just snowballed from there,” said Crout.
“It feels pretty good to be the grand champions, I must say,” Crout said on what it feels like to come out on top in their first competition in Newberry.
For team Doko Smoke, this was also a competition that challenged them in a category they have never competed in with past competitions.
“Normally we just cook pulled pork and ribs. This was my first competition in chicken, so that was new,” said Crout.
Crout said the deciding factor for the public and judges in their Pork in the Park victory had to be the sauce and the amount of help the team had in preparing the food. After going home with a victory, Crout said he sees Doko Smoke coming back to Newberry for future competitions.
“I was impressed with the amount of people that were here. It was such a good turnout. Everything we heard from people was positive. Everything was just good. Nobody was raving about it, but it was good. We appreciate everybody that came by and sampled the food and we really appreciate the judges for shining a light on us today. That was pretty good. It was such a great event. We will definitely be back next year,” said Crout.
Doko Smoke, 408 Main St. in Blythewood, also has a food truck that is taken to local events, such as the Farmers Markets that are held throughout the year, the Rodeo that comes to Blythewood and other sponsor and fundraising events.
Doko Smoke is open Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on Doko Smoke, call 1-803-730-6016 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.