Kansas City, MO
The 30th Annual American Royal BBQ Contest is right around the corner. Once again, Holla-N-Swalla will be participating in the "Open" portion of this contest. This will mark our fourth year participating in this great event!
For those of you not familiar with the American Royal, it is the largest BBQ contest in the world and is sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society. There is an Invitational contest which takes place on Saturday (10/3) and involves approximately 100 teams vying for the top prize of ten thousand dollars. Since we do not meet the criteria to compete in the Invitational we will cook in the Open contest which takes place on Sunday. Typically, there are anywhere from 400 to 500 teams competing in the Open. The grand prize this year is $12,500 dollars and invitations to next years American Royal contest as well as the highly prized Jack Daniels invitational contest in Lynchburg, TN. There are also cash prizes, trophies and ribbons for finishing in the top 20 for each judged category.
With so many teams participating in the Open, you really have to be on your game to be lucky enough to have a Top 20 finish in any category. The subjectivity involved with judging , like most contests, makes this a real crapshoot. Often times, entries we think aren't very good tend to do well and the entries that we think rock are our worst scores. Take a look at last year's scores:
2008 Open Scores
Overall 135th out of 458
Chicken 322nd out of 458 (Ouch!)
Ribs 92nd out of 458
Pork 48th out of 458
Brisket 238th out of 458 (C'mon on judges!)
As you can see, Ribs and Pork weren't too bad but Brisket and especially Chicken killed us! The funny thing was our chicken had been our strongest finisher in all of our 2008 contests. Go figure?
We have really enjoyed cooking this event in the past and we are looking forward to this year. We will be in our same space, #756, this year as last year. Our space is located in front of Kemper Arena right by the Wyoming gate entrance. This year we also will have a very prestigious neighbor. Myron Mixon's team, Jack's Old South, who has won several world titles will be next to us. Hopefully some of their mojo will rub off on us!
If you are in the area that weekend, stop by and say hi. We love talking Q!