If the sizzle of sausage gets those creative cooking juices flowing, then strap on an apron for the Real Men Kook for Kids sausage cook-off.
“I love to cook smoked sausages on the grill and I saw online that they did a sausage cook-off in Texas for the most tasteful sausage dish,” said Ron Green, chief professional officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nash/Edgecombe Counties. “I thought it’d be cool to do that here, so this event was born.”
Twelve teams of men have signed up so far and registration has been extended through Tuesday in hopes of getting about 20 teams to participate and work their magic with the star ingredient: smoked pork sausage. Green said the more creative the recipe, the better.
“Smoked sausage is easily prepared, doesn’t take long to cook and most people love it,” he said. “We’ve had teams in the past prepare pasta dishes with the pasta cooked on-site to people grilling bell peppers and onions to serve alongside the sausage on a bun. We are looking for dishes that are outside the box and really tasteful.”
The dishes will be submitted to judges, and then the public will have a chance to sample the dishes before the top three chefs are named.
“This is an opportunity to cook in a friendly competition while helping a worthwhile organization and get some bragging rights,” Green said. “Most importantly, though, it is a chance to show young kids that there are men in our community that care about them, are willing to spend time with them and help make the community a better place to live.”
The event is organized by the Rocky Mount Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, with proceeds going to support the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Passport to Manhood program, which teaches boys and young men lessons on how to treat ladies, how to dress for success, how to care for their bodies and more. Green said the curriculum is particularly important since a large portion of the club members are raised in single-parent – often single- mother – homes.
“Mothers can do a lot of things, but they can’t teach a boy how to grow into a responsible, positive young man,” Green said. “It is important for the men in our community to come forward and help mentor the younger generation of males, which is what our fraternity is all about.”
Initially the cook-off was going to be Father’s Day weekend, but graduations pushed the event back to June 21 at Sunset Park. The rescheduling, though, gives teams more time to register and prepare for the competition.
In addition to the cooking competition, Green said families can enjoy games as well as free use of the carousel, train and spray park. Hot dogs and hamburgers also will be available free to a limited number of youth attendees less than 18 years old. Admission to the event for adults is $5 and includes four tasting tickets for the sausage dishes.
“This is a great opportunity for people to meet folks from other churches and groups all while showing our kids examples of positive and productive ways to give back to the community,” Green said. “It really is going to be a bunch of fun.”