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Pigging out at Pinehurst

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Billy Parker, owner of Greenville's two Parker's Barbecue locations, left, delivers barbecue to Andrew Chalfant, director of major events at Ridgewells Catering, to be served at the U.S. Men's Open golf championship in Pinehurst next week.

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Jane Welborn Hudson

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Golf fans will have the opportunity to enjoy some Greenville grub while they’re watching the world’s top golfers play the difficult Pinehurst No. 2 course next week.

Parker’s Barbecue of Greenville was selected to provide pork barbecue for the Men’s U.S. Open golf championship next week at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in Pinehurst.

Parker’s owner Billy Parker delivered 3,500 pounds of eastern North Carolina-style barbecue to Pinehurst on Thursday. The chopped smoked pork, seasoned with Parker’s vinegar-and-hot-pepper sauce, is expected to feed more than 18,000 people in corporate tents at the golf tournament.

“This is the biggest barbecue-by-the-pound order we have ever filled for a single event,” Parker said. “We cooked over 70 pigs.”

Parker’s Barbecue also provided hundreds of gallons of its Brunswick Stew and cole slaw to be served at the golf tournament.

The U.S. Open is a major golf championship that attracts top players including Phil Mickleson, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia. Practice rounds will be held Monday through Wednesday, with the four championship rounds beginning Thursday.

Parker’s was one of several North Carolina restaurants approached by Ridgewells Catering of Maryland about providing some local flavor for the Pinehurst crowd.

“Wherever the big event is, they like to source local providers,” Parker said. “They cold-called us to see if we would be interested. They came down to the restaurant two times and met with us and toured the facilities — and they chose us.

“We are very honored they chose Parker’s Barbecue of Greenville to be the supplier of North Carolina barbecue. Our family has been in the barbecue business since the 1940s and we take pride in every pig we chop.”

Ridgewells, the caterer for the U.S. Open for the past 10 years, also is the preferred caterer for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in Washington. The company also has catered the Democratic National Convention and numerous other high-profile events.

“There is no question that eastern North Carolina-style, vinegar-based whole hog barbecue is the best barbecue not only in North Carolina but also in the country,” Parker said. “People from all over the world will be at the U.S. Open this week and will have an opportunity to eat a delicacy not found very much outside of eastern North Carolina.”

In addition to the large order of barbecue for the U.S. Open, Parker’s Barbecue also is preparing combination plates for the 1,200-1,500 attendees of this week’s North Carolina United Methodist Men’s annual conference at the Greenville Convention Center. The conference-goers will eat Parker’s barbecue, slaw, Brunswick Stew, barbecue chicken, hush puppies, banana pudding and sweet tea.

Parker’s Barbecue, which opened in March 1971, is the oldest independent family-owned restaurant in Greenville. There are two Greenville locations: 3190 S. Memorial Drive and 2020 S.E. Greenville Blvd.

Parker’s Barbecue ships barbecue anywhere in the world; order online at parkersbbq.com. The restaurant also provides off-site catering and bulk food orders.

Contact Jane Hudson at jhudson@reflector.com or 252-329-9577.

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