Hot dog! Manchester man's culinary creation wins 'Fenway Frank' contest

New Hampshire Union Leader
July 31. 2018 8:53PM
Dan Stewart, winner of the “Create the Next Kayem Fenway Frank” contest, holds a poster of his winning hot dog recipe, “Boston Pork Party,” in his living room in Manchester on Tuesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Everything is better with bacon.

Just ask Dan Stewart. When the retired postal worker from Manchester decided, on a whim, to enter this year’s “Create the Next Kayem Fenway Frank” competition earlier this summer, Stewart immediately knew bacon would be part of the equation.

Throw in pulled pork and coleslaw, and the ‘Boston Pork Party’ was born — with Stewart $1,000 richer after taking top honors in the contest.

Stewart, 59, said that in the days since July 27, when it was announced that he had won the competition, frankfurter fans have approached him for pictures, autographs — one even bought him a beer.

“It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s awesome,” said Stewart. “It’s been more than I could have ever expected.”

Stewart said he first heard about the Kayem competition — now in its sixth year — when he received an email through his Red Sox Nation fan membership club.

“I thought, ‘I can do this,’ and started throwing around ideas,” said Stewart. “I started thinking about everything I would want on a hot dog, throwing on bacon and pulled pork, and of course coleslaw. I was thinking of calling it ‘Picnic on a Bun.’ ”

He ran the name by his wife Maria. She had a better idea.

“I thought the name should be something inclusive of Boston, the bacon and the pork,” said Maria Stewart. “I said, ‘What about Boston Pork Party’? That was it.”

Stewart entered his recipe, and was chosen as a semi-finalist, along with fellow Manchester resident Danielle York’s Elvis-inspired entry “The King.”

Stewart, a self-described “foodie,” said he took inspiration from Guy Fieri’s television show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

“That’s why I put the coleslaw in, to give it texture like they always talk about,” said Stewart. “I like to put the coleslaw underneath the hot dog. You put the bacon and coleslaw underneath, and the pulled pork on top.”

The Kayem meat company then notified Stewart that he was one of two finalists, and he and Maria headed down to Fenway Park on July 10 for an interview on the cable station NESN and a press conference with Red Sox Manager Alex Cora. Stewart actually learned that night his recipe had won, but had to stay silent until the big reveal during a pregame ceremony on July 27.

“A whole group of us got to go in,” said Stewart. “My stepson, his wife and our granddaughter, we all got batting practice passes and were on the field. Then my name, picture and where I was from was on the Jumbotron. It was pretty awesome.”

Stewart was presented with a Boston Red Sox jersey that said, “Boston Pork Party” with the number 18 on the back, along with $1,000, a one-year supply of Kayem franks, and a one night’s stay at Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square.

“Anywhere I went that night, people saw the shirt and recognized me,” said Stewart. “There’s hundreds of Mookie Betts shirts, but there’s only one of these. We went to Uno’s after the game and a guy bought me a beer, because he saw my interview on NESN.”

Stewart said as part of the contest he had to sign away his rights to the name and recipe “for perpetuity, all through the universe, for the rest of my life,” because the ‘Boston Pork Party’ will now be available for purchase at at least one food stand at Fenway for each Red Sox game the rest of the season.

Stewart is excited that his creation will be on sale at Fenway Aug. 9 when Jimmy Buffett plays there. But the Stewarts, devoted Parrotheads who have tickets to the show, are under no delusions they will get to eat their creation for free.

“I don’t think that’s happening,” said Stewart.

The Stewarts say they plan on donating $100 of their winnings to Liberty House in Manchester, a housing program for formerly homeless veterans, “to hold a picnic.” The couple said they already have names and recipes in mind for next year’s Fenway Frank contest.

General NewsManchester

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