Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Smoke on the Water - T Minus 2 days and Counting

Just a few days now until one of the most anticipated events of the young 2010 barbecue competition season! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for Friday to get here. Of course, I still have a lot of things left on my to do list before heading out in the wee hours Friday morning.

This winter has seemed extremely longer and colder than past years. I suppose part of that is because of I have been waiting for March 19th to get here just like a kid waiting for Christmas day to arrive. The cold, overcast gloom is finally going to give way to the start of our barbecue season. Surely sunny, warm days are on the horizon?

This contest will mark the furthest we have traveled to compete. That being said, I need to narrow down what I can take to only the essentials. In the past, I have found myself loading items I never touch at a contest (for my first contest I took three barbecue cookbooks - which I never touched!). I will say over the past year I have worked to reduce what I haul to a contest quite a bit. I've found that cluttering up your work area with non-essential items just doesn't make sense. I got so tired of tripping over plastic containers full of things I never touch but thought necessary. Experience is a great teacher and we're all working a little smarter these days.

My goal is to have everything loaded early Thursday evening. Leave Kansas City very early Friday morning and meet up with Darrin and Corey on the highway around Harrisonville, MO. We are shooting for an arrival time around 11 a.m. at the contest site. That will give us time to get set-up and have a little down time before we start our prep work. Brant and his entourage are flying in from Florida so we expect him on site about 5:30 p.m.

There will 228 teams competing for $100k in prize money. The list of teams is like a who's who on the bbq circuit. A good finish here would say a lot about our team. We will really need to be on top of our game to have a shot at a top 40 finish in any category. Regardless of the outcome, it is still very valuable experience for us and another learning opportunity as we "rub" elbows with some of the elite cooks in the country.

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