Champion crowned in 46th Annual Newport Pig Cooking Contest

NEWPORT, N.C. (WITN) – Cooks rolled up their sleeves in one Eastern Carolina county with hopes to be crowned the pig cooking champion.

Who would be crowned number one? That was the question on everyone’s mind Saturday at the 46th Annual Newport Pig Cooking Contest.

“We love it,” attendee John Getty said. “Not only the barbeque meal but also enjoying the atmosphere and the beautiful day.”

The Newport Pig Cooking Competition is the largest all-volunteer non-profit whole hog barbeque contest in America. Dozens of cooks came out to try to claim the crown and hundreds of residents came out with empty stomachs.

“You can get funnel cakes and barbeque,” attendee Valerie Reason said.

With live music, rides, concession stands, and more, family and friends came out for a good time and good eats.

“You can go on a lot of rides and play games,” attendee Victoria Reason said.

As to who won the competition, Dana Peterson took home the trophy. She said she began cooking in 2016, and with this being her third year competing, she was shocked to hear she won.

“It feels unreal,” Peterson said. “I didn’t see it coming. I knew I had a good pig but you just never know in this field of cooks. They are just outstanding.”

Peterson said she didn’t do it just for the glory, but because of what Newport does for its community.

“I mean winning is just a perk of it but being able to cook the barbeque and give back to the community is rewarding in itself,” Peterson said.

Peterson said she’ll be there next year to defend her title. As of 2019, the cooking competition has given over $1 million back to different charities. That number is expected to grow as the years continue.