Hot Dog Days of Summer

By: Frank Samperi
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Beautiful weather and a fanatic love of the hot dog brought out a crowd for the Fifth Annual Great Hot Dog Cookoff last weekend in Brooklyn, NY. I was among the hungry, ready, and willing to gorge on this year's impressive entries.

Twenty competitors grilled and dressed a variety of hot dog creations, ranging from the good old-fashioned and tasty to the re-imagined and purely conceptual. Here are a few highlights:

Cathy Erway and Shane Welch's Cucumber Curry Dog: a farm-fresh cucumber in lieu of a bun, with frizzled shallots and curry mayo—quite refreshing!

Erik Michielsen and Christian Olson's Swahili Dog, served over coconut milk-infused beans and topped with a puckeringly tart pickled-lime sauce:

Nichelle Stephens and Julian Young's English Breakfast Dog, wrapped in English bacon, served over HP-flavored baked beans and topped with chopped fresh tomato and mushroom:

Eugene Kim and Danny Kim's Hawaii 5-0, a firey, spiced pork dog with a pineapple slaw and Mornay sauce. Yum!

Noah Berland and Shunya Togashi's Le Hot-Dog de Crème Glacée redefined what a dog could be: scoops of homemade plum ice cream inside a home-baked chocolate croissant. But is it a dog? Melted version below:

The Best in Show trophy was awarded to Karol Lu and David Roderick's Pickles to the Slaw-ter: A dog atop a spicy slaw, finished with a deep-fried pickle chip and Remoulade sauce. Congrats guys!

The event was hosted by Kara Masi and Kelso Brewery, and 100% of the $6,000 in ticket sales was donated to City Harvest, a non-profit that rescues unused food from NYC restaurants and distributes to the city's hungry.

Learn more about the Great Hot Dog Cookoff .

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