DUBLIN, Ga. — After two years on pause, Dublin's annual 'Pig in the Park' barbecue competition is back.
This year brings 27 different pitmasters to Dublin vying for the title, but there's a newcomer: 10-year-old Dylan Gruber.
They say cooking is an artform. It's also been called a science. Luckily, science is one of Gruber's favorite subjects.
"And math! And history," he said, taking a break from the carving table.
He's the youngest pitmaster out there this weekend. He and his parents came all the way from Americus. His dad's not new to Central Georgia though.
"This is my dad's hometown," Gruber said.
Sure, he's young; but he's fierce in competition.
"Second in chicken pot pie, first in chili. And people's choice," he recalled.
That doesn't even include his first-place barbecue wins. The biggest surprise here: he just started making barbecue in October.
"We made a lot of barbecue sauce and a lot of barbecue over the last year," he said.
Dylan isn't new to the kitchen though. He said he started cooking around three years old. His first dish was mac and cheese. Now, he carves pork butt and chicken like a pro. His favorite barbecue meal to make is ribs.
Saturday, Gruber will face 26 other pitmasters in three different competitions: chicken, pork ribs and pulled pork. He's pretty confident he'll take home the gold.
Downtown Dublin's Jordan Crabb says she expects about 5,000 hungry locals will turn out this weekend to sample all the food.
"Every year it just seems to grow and grow and grow. And here we are again at Pig in the Park, and I think I've already seen about 3,000 people, which is awesome for this event," she said.
If you missed the action Friday, don't worry! You can get back to the Market on Madison in Downtown Dublin as early as 10 a.m. Saturday. That's when the judging begins.
Also Saturday at the Market on Madison is Music and Munchies. That starts at 5 and features several different food vendors offering barbecue, seafood and sweets. Admission is $10.