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Sen. Mark Begich

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Madam President, there is nothing like a good meal in a favorite restaurant to make your day. When I travel to Fairbanks, the second largest city in my home State, I often go to Big Daddy's BarB-Q owned by Harold Groetsema.

There are many good barbeque establishments in Alaska. Barbeque has long been a part of our Nation's culinary history. Few people know that our own Library of Congress holds dozens of old drawings, posters and prints depicting barbecued meats at picnics, high society events, fairs and the like. The Library of Congress has barbeque recipes, stories, cookbooks and books on the history of barbeque. Its collection is large because it is a popular subject whether you like your sauce sweet, spicy or vinegar sour.

It would be hard to pick an absolute favorite of mine back home. I like them all. Big Daddy's southern-style barbeque is consistently top quality. Big Daddy's has won competitions in Alaska, done well nationally and was featured on a Food Network TV show. Maybe it's the secret sauce. Maybe it's the meat. Maybe it's the way he slow cooks over a hickory fire.

Harold and his team are heading to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis later this year. With his skills and dedication, I wouldn't be surprised if they return with a high ranking. I wish Harold and his team well and I know they will make Alaska proud.