FLATIRON — Summer's just around the corner, and so is the barbecue.
The 12th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is arriving in Madison Square Park on the weekend of June 7, and it's inviting pitmasters from all over the country to serve up traditional barbecue dishes, including thousands of pounds of pork shoulder, ribs, sausages and southern-style sides and desserts.
“We have participated for the past seven years and really look forward to it every year,” said Jimmy Hagwood, owner and executive pitmaster of South Carolina’s Food for the Southern Soul.
The two-day event will include demonstrations, giveaways, and live performances by emerging and established rock, blues and soul artists. Detailed plans haven’t been decided yet, said Jee Won Park, spokeswoman for the Union Square Hospitality Group, which organizes the event every year.
Admission is free and guests can order dishes from any pitmaster for $9 per plate.
Food for the Southern Soul, which has more than 30 volunteers helping out every year, will be preparing over 3,000 pounds of pulled pork shoulder and 1,000 pounds of coleslaw, Hagwood said.
With the extra help, Hagwood is able to produce a bbq plate every 4 seconds for patrons who stand in line for 30 minutes or longer, he said.
In addition, Dallas' Baker's Ribs will be serving up its award-winning St. Louis-style pork ribs and specialty jalapeno coleslaw, according to Elisa Livingston, spokeswoman for the restaurant.
Baker's pitmaster Joe Duncan will also be partnering with Texas restaurant-chain Original Fried Pie Shop to offer a variety of fried fruit pies, she said.
"We are looking forward to serving hungry New Yorkers," said Duncan.
The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party will take place June 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Madison Square Park, located on Madison Avenue between 23rd and 26th Streets.