Congrats to all who walked and to John of Brazen BBQ for your team’s first RGC. I squeaked past by less than half a point so I’m sure you guys will be on the GC podium very soon. You all are a bunch of really nice guys who are focused, know what you’re doing, and are getting better and better with each contest. And, giving the rest of the candidate ROYs much indigestion!
With 15 new teams among the 35, many who had never done a full KCBS contest with garnish before, Gene, our KCBS rep, had his work cut out for him. Gene and I did a short demo on how to make KCBS boxes after the Friday cooks meeting. I let teams on Saturday morning watch me do our Lazyman Turn-in Boxes using 1 head of green lettuce and 3 bunches of parsley while spending less than $3.00 to do 4 boxes. Tim and Diane from Rusty Barrel also came to watch and offered the newbies good advice. There were about 10 who attended including Julie, Benny’s sister from Funtime BBQ. Ben Lobenstein, who was at this event, coined the new term BYOB (box, that is).
Many teams had questions later that Friday evening when I went around as part of the CBBQA New Team Mentor program to answer questions and to help out. A couple of teams had red-leaf lettuce so with advance warning, they were able to replace them with the correct type. A couple of teams had broken boxes or dented their boxes, so I asked them to get another to avoid being DQ-ed for marking their box. It was great to be of assistance to Pook and J’s BBQ, two young Q-ers who had never cooked butt or brisket before. These guys went out and purchased the meats, a meat thermometer, and tried their hand first-time cooking butt and brisket in competition. Their brisket was overdone and could not be sliced so I asked them to cube it for turn in. I hope they had fun, found everyone to be supportive, and will come back to compete again.
I’m aware about the reservations going around about helping newbies or sharing BBQ knowledge. Like you, I know there is a fine line between sharing knowledge while maintaining our respective competitive edge. Things like making PVC extenders for tables, how to make a decent box, how to start a smoker, and general instructions is a great way to help out. I received a lot of comments from the newbies that everyone was very helpful, and this sort of goodwill will definitely help grow our sport resulting in more participants, larger contests, and larger payouts. As the saying goes, you get out what you put in; and this is true helping newbies. In summary, getting into competition BBQ is an intimidating step especially with all the arcane rules and I suggest we do what we can, individually, and collectively, to help.
Thanks to Mike George and his team of helpers, the Children’s Miracle Network, Gene and John for officiating the event, judges, some who drove a long way, and all the teams who helped make this inaugural event such a successful one at 35 teams. I know Thom Emery helped out in the background and Mike credited Thom repeatedly during the event (I’m guessing Thom is the one behind the BATs).
It was good to see and hang out with John Jackson, inventor of the Stoker System which contributes a lot to our success as we never leave home without it. We’re just amazed about our Grand Champion and back-to-back accomplishment between Costa Mesa and Bakersfield, with Kansas sandwiched in-between. We came in 2nd Pork, 3rd Ribs, 4th Brisket, and 10th Chicken. I think the trophies at the BBBB are the biggest BATs I’ve seen in a contest of this size. The GC trophy with the Weber Kettle on top towers over the one we received in Kansas. Brian and I had trouble getting it into our minivan. I’m hoping that my son warms up to BBQ after such an outing. I know he MS and FB his friends with pics and blogs.