Festival fun is all in the food. Three days, one giant taste-a-thon. But some cravings cannot wait. We bring you a sneak peek at the food behind the festival with a look at two hometown teams of cooks: Dogwood veterans Scott Adams and Angel Li of All in My Grill and new kids on the block, James and Annie Quick of Quik Serv.
James and Annie Quick are partners in life and the kitchen, too. He has a full-time job at Goodyear Tire with a welding business on the side. She works for the IRS (no kidding). But those are just the day jobs. On weekends, for fun, they slave over a hot stove in a shiny silver trailer James built himself. “This here,” James says pointing to the trailer parked in their driveway, “is our pleasure thing.” He does the cooking. She runs the carryout window. It’s a match made in heaven, at least for us foodies. The Quicks crank out those festival favorites that are so bad yet so good: corn dogs, French fries, funnel cakes and more. Food brought Scott Adams and Angel Li together, too, and thank goodness. Thanks to them the air at Festival Park is spiked with the smell of fresh pineapple, grilled chicken and shrimp and secret ingredients they will only reveal as “Asian spices.” It all started by happenstance. She ran a Chinese restaurant in Raeford. He ran the dry cleaning business next door. He was a longtime backyard griller. “And I like to eat,” Li says with a laugh. Adams found the grill. “It just needed a good paint job,” he said, plus a complete retrofit from smoker to griddle and a truck just shy of an 18-wheeler to haul all 4,000 pounds of it. The two of them took the grill out to Freaky Fridays at the Fayetteville Motor Speedway and moved their way up to festivals, then biker week at Myrtle Beach. The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival was the goal, the Big Kahuna. It took them awhile to find their groove. They experimented until they finally came up with the winning combination: grilled chicken or shrimp served in a carved-out pineapple all cooked to order. No one ever complains about the wait. “They’re on the phone, ‘Girl you have got to come see this,’” Adams says and laughs. “We’d be millionaires if we could charge people to look.”