7th Annual Great Hot Dog Cookoff
630 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn
Since 2005, The Great Hot Dog Cookoff has made hot dogs and fundraising synonymous with good times and gourmet ridiculousness. Now in its seventh year, The Great Hot Dog Cookoff brought 30 New York City professional and amateur chefs to Brooklyn in July to engage in a live grilling battle where the 750 attendees voted to determine who will be this year’s Top Dog. Winners are listed here.
Retaining the old-fashioned charm of the traditional hot dog while elevating this iconic American food, The Great Hot Dog Cookoff donated all net proceeds from this year’s event to the Food Bank For New York City to help address the needs of the nearly three million New Yorkers who are having trouble affording food and might otherwise go hungry. This year’s event raised $12,000 for the Food Bank and helped provide 60,000 meals for New Yorkers in need.
The Brooklyn Kitchen curated the Cookoff’s first “professional” competition within the event. In this Pro-Row, industry professionals from local restaurants and butcher heavyweights went head to head in another battle for Top honors. Some of the participating professionals include Gramercy Tavern, Mile End, Marlow & Daughters, The Meat Hook and Brooklyn Bangers. All Pro-Row contestants made their own hot dogs.
The standard competition featured 24 teams of amateur chefs serving up their most inventive hot dog versions. Dogs included creative, and often extreme topping combinations inspired by ethnic cuisines, or cooked in ways never imagined, with unusual bun pairings and sometimes no buns at all – challenging every preconceived notion of what a hot dog should be while titillating all taste buds. For the second year in a row, Applegate Farms donated a supply of their humanely raised, 100% organic grass-fed and finished beef Great Organic Hot Dogs for competition use by the amateur chefs.
New in 2012, organizers moved to a new venue in anticipation of what was the largest Hot Dog Cookoff to date. This summer’s event was held at the site of Brooklyn’s newest food and creative business hub, owned by Acumen Capital Partners and located at 630 Flushing Avenue in South Williamsburg (site of the former Pfizer factory). Lead sponsor KelSo Beer Company was on site pouring their Nut Brown Lager and Belgian Pale Ale. George Duran, hot dog-lover and host of TLC’s Ultimate Cake-Off, MCed the event, while Cookoff favorite DJ Rabbi Darkside spun sweet summertime tunes. Even in broad daylight, this annual gathering evolved into a spontaneous dance party by the end of the afternoon.