2010 Queen Creek Cookoff, Arizona
On October 15th and 16th, 2010, the Slap Yo Daddy BBQ team competed in Queen Creek, AZ, but with a twist. For the first time this year, the team was without Headcook Harry as he had to attend a wedding in Los Angeles. In his place, assistant cook, Benny Adauto, his wife Shari, traveled to Queen Creek in Harry’s minivan. There they joined by Peter Graves, an alumnus of Harry’s Pitmaster 101 BBQ class. The best of the West from AZ and CA were there and the competition was tough among the 37 teams.
The team encountered a few obstacles during the weekend including a dust storm Friday evening that lasted more than two hours. This required Benny and Peter to hang onto the canopy to keep it from flying away. Finally, the decision was made to take the canopy and banners down and wait for calmer weather. Once the wind died down, all three members began the task of cleaning the dust out of everything.
The following day, everything went fairly smoothly with the exception of a broken turn-in box. Fortunately, 6 months of traveling with Harry’s helped Benny to stay focused on preparing the meats while Shari and Peter worked on replacing the garnish.
At the awards ceremony, the judges rewarded the team with a 1st place in chicken and a 5th place in pork. The team did not finish as strong in the ribs and brisket categories. Finally as the overall awards were announced, the Slap Yo Daddy team was called for 4th place overall. The grand champion was Otis and the Bird and reserve grand champion was Jennifer Duncan of Smoked to the Bone. You may recall that Jennifer is also an alumnus of the Harry’s class. Tom Duncan, Jennifer’s husband and the head cook of Whiskey Ranch BBQ came in 6th overall, giving Harry three students in the top 6 places.
Thanks to Emily and the entire Queen Creek team for a well run contest. Also, thanks to Mike and the AZ Barbeque team for their assistance in helping Emily in this first time event. Thanks to our KCBS reps, Dave and Lori Lopp for their work and to all the judges too. Thanks to our sponsors for their continued support.
EPILOGUE: I’m so proud of my assistant cook and partner Benny for his first solo outing. Job well done! Thanks also to Benny’s wife Shari and Peter Graves, my former student for helping out. My college buddy and “adopted” brother Andrew married his sweatheart Sophy at a beautiful ceremony that weekend. I was very happy to be there for Andrew and Sophy as they tied the knot to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives.