Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Tale Of Two Contests

Well, where to start? Our 2010 competition season has started and we now have 2 contests under our belt with some interesting results.

We did participate at Smoke On The Water in Little Rock, AR. This was the first time we traveled out of the Kansas City metro area to cook. It was very eye opening. The contest itself attracted some of the top teams in the country and we knew we would have to work hard to get a call in any category. The atmosphere was very different from most contests. There was no partying or loud music late into the night. It was very down to business. The game faces were on early Friday and did not come off until the last turn-in. We did meet some new teams and we were able to get an audience with Myron Mixon. Also caught up with Rod Gray of Pellet Envy (The Grand Champion of the event) and Harry Soo and his partner Mark of Slap Yo' Daddy when all was said and done.

Overall, we finished 155th and received a 12th place call in Chicken. We were very pleased with our Chicken call considering the level of cooks we were against. We felt our brisket was the best we had ever cooked but unfortunately the judges thought differently. That's one thing I can always count on, if our team likes it, the judges will not! The contest outcome and the bad weather made it a long drive home.

Now we flash forward to this past weekend at the Rockin' Rib Fest in Springfield, MO. There were 59 teams competing on the grounds of the giant Bass Pro Shop. The contest atmosphere reminded me of a mini American Royal. There were many barbecue/Pitmaster fans who showed up both Friday night and on Saturday. We met and talked to a lot of great folks!

This contest also required that we cook for and serve the public on Saturday after our last turn-in. We had not done this before but found out that 6 pork butts and 2 briskets didn't last very long with the hungry crowd. We did not win any People's Choice Awards but still enjoyed the experience.

As far as the cook process, we felt like it was one of the smoothest we had every had. Everything finished within our normal time range and the presentation boxes went together like clock work (big props to Darrin and Brant.) At the awards ceremony, we were rewarded for our hard work. We placed 10th in chicken, 7th in pork and 2nd in brisket for a 6th place overall finish! The damn ribs did us in this time with a 23rd place! We did receive a nice etched plate from the 417 Magazine for being the 1st place brisket champion in their contest. All in all, a very pleasing result for our second cook of the season!

Next up.....Belton, MO Heritage BBQ Contest on April 30th. Let the good times roll!