If there is one thing to take away from Brunswick’s Rockin’ Stewbilee, it’s that this coastal community takes its stew seriously.
Hundreds of people descended on Mary Ross Waterfront Park this past Saturday for an afternoon of live music, antique cars, and the main event: a spirited Brunswick stew competition. No matter where you stand on the Georgia v. Virginia debate over the dish’s true origin, the tradition can be found alive and well at this yearly event. Founded in 1999, teams come prepared with their take on this 19th-century stew, each armed with their own recipe.
Ron Adams, one of the event’s founders and a longtime competitor, says the important thing is to “respect each ingredient and make each ingredient the best it can be.” The judges agree, as criteria for tasting include a particular focus on taste, texture, and general appearance.
While early recipes called for squirrel meat, Brunswick stew is now typically made with a combination of pork and chicken, lima beans, corn, and potatoes in a tomato-based broth. Some competitors cooked through the night to achieve the storied slow cook the stew is known for, but it was Roy and Mandy Chambliss of Roy’s Nutz and Buttz that took home the coveted top prize.
The Chamblisses left corporate jobs before starting their food truck in 2015, which led to the opening of their restaurant in Bloomingdale.
In the mood to try their award-winning stew? You’re in luck, as the stew currently has a home on the permanent menu.