The BIG story at this event was that our good buddies and California ROY 2009 team Brazen BBQ from San Diego won their very first Grand Championship after two years of trying. John and Brad finally did it on November 6, 2010, with their outstanding finish (1st Ribs, 1st Pork) amid 25 teams at the Golden Acorn BBQ Fest in Campo about an hour East of San Diego. It was a long time coming and we’re very happy and glad to see such a committed team achieve the ultimate prize of a BBQ contest. The first GC is always the sweetest especially after trying so long and so hard; many times coming so close and now finally getting the cigar. Once you win a GC, you’re a GC for life and the Brazen boys got their GC in a nick of time since they just signed the lease for their first BBQ restaurant a week ago. Now they’ve got a nice trophy and the bragging rights to say they serve Championship BBQ! It was also great that my co-worker, former Asst. Cook, and mentee Dangerous Dave from All Sauced Up won Reserve Champion. It was also good to see up and coming California ROY contender Left Coast Q (our neighbors) come in 5th. These boys are also climbing the ranks with back-to-back strong showings.
We had a great time cooking and finished 4th of 25 (5th brisket; 7th ribs; 9th pork; 16 chicken). We’re an experienced high-altitude team now since we cooked at 4,200 feet this week and 2,800 feet last week. Benny installed our 10-cfm fan instead of our usual 5 cfm and the cook went smoothly. The Stoker System from John Jackson is amazing, and we never leave home without them.
We participated in the Friday Midnight Madness cooking contest with $300 winner-take-all where teams were required to purchase at least 3 ingredients from the convenience store by the Golden Acorn casino, the only place with supplies within 30 miles. As you can imagine, there weren’t many grocery items amid the Slim Jim’s, soda, chips, and oil treatments at a truck stop joint. I did, however, find some eggs, Spam, sour cream, cheese whiz, and canned Jalapenos. So I decided to try my hand at a whimsical creation inspired by my favorite children book author Dr. Seuss which I called Spicy Green Eggs and Spam! I chopped up parley and used the green juice to color my egg frittata. We didn’t win but we had a fun time cooking it. Congrats to Mike Reiman and his team AZ BBQ for winning this event which required a second cookoff on Saturday to decide the tiebreaker. I think the sodium lightning in the parking lot where open judging took place didn’t allow the judges to see the creation in all its glory. Many thanks to Jennifer from Sauce Goddess BBQ for loaning the skillet to make this dish as I was completely unprepared, equipment-wise, for this impromptu contest.
This contest also marked our very first dessert entry in California after three years cooking on the BBQ circuit. We entered a dessert in the Anything Butt category where anything goes. We need to submit a dessert entry as we’re shooting for the Jack 2011 in Lynchburg in October 2011 and teams are required to submit a dessert entry. I made an Italian custard called Zabaglione (pronounced Sa-ba-yo-ne) Moscato with Fresh Berries and Belgian Dark Chocolate. Amazingly we won 2nd place! Thanks to Jennifer from Sauce Goddess for loaning us her butane tank and the Brazen boys (our neighbors) for letting us use their trailer to shelter from the crazy wind that started blowing hard by mid-morning. Yes, the wooden platter was our GC trophy from last week’s win at the Starr Pass contest in Arizona. Thanks to my co-workers Janice, Cello, and Teri for allowing me to borrow their serving glasses, chocolate recipe, and fall decorations from the office cubicles. We’re headed back to Sun City, AZ, next week to continue our BBQ quest.
Many thanks go to Henry Silvestre for organizing the event, Golden Acorn Casino for being the host, all the judges, Kelly and Kathleen for officiating, and all the helpers and hotel staff. Congrats to all the teams who walked and took part. We’d like to thank our terrific Sponsors: Rocks BBQ System for our Stoker temperature control system, T&H Meat and Sausages for our meat products, TheSlabs.com for our rub products, Cajun Bandit for our Weber stainless replacement doors, and Butcher BBQ for our injections.