The Democratic National Convention conducted a search to find the best barbecue sauce in February of 2012. They received thirty submissions in three groups: mustard, tomato, and vinegar. Barbecue sauces entered in the contest included familiar brands as well as homemade barbecue sauce. Criteria used to pick the winner came from the score sheet of the South Carolina Barbecue Society. The entries were graded on aroma, taste, and the overall impression they made on judges.
The three winners of the Taste of the Carolinas contest were announced by the Democratic National Convention. The winners are:
Dan Huntley from Pig Pucker Barbecue in Charlotte in the mustard category
Tom Montgomery and Sabra Kelly from Twelve Bones Smokehouse in Asheville for their tomato based barbecue sauce
Mark Cieslikowski from Barbecue Pit of Lake in Lake Wylie for the tomato-based group.
The winning sauces can be bought at local stores and money will be raised for the next convention 7th Street Public on Saturday
Huntley stated “It is a great honor in barbecudom having my sauce selected by the DNC.” Montgomery is excited they won and hopes all will like their sauce at the next convention. Cieslikowski stated the creation of their sauce came from several years of trying various vinegar sauces.
Judges of the barbecue sauce contest included Sherry and Brian Teigue from the Barbecue Society, Jon Fortes, chef executive of the Mimosa Grill, and Kathleen Purvis, a food writer. Also among the judges was Mayor Anthony Foxx and committee director Dan Murrey.