BIG Congrats to Slap Yo Daddy alumni Paul Murray’s rookie team for two 1st place back-to-back brisket awards!
Intro by Donna Fong, Butchers Daughter BBQ – In early April 2015, one of our Slap Yo’ Daddy students from 2013 emailed me and asked how to tell a left sided brisket from a right sided brisket. Alumni Paul Murray was finally moving from backyard contests to professional contests. After going back and forth with photos of his briskets and some photos of my briskets, Paul had it down. This led to other discussions on beef grading, different beef producers, aging and slicing. I’m not sure if he knows this, but there’s no cut of competition meat that I love more than brisket. I love everything about it and was happy to talk with him.
Paul lives in Thousand Oaks in SoCal while his son Dave Murray lives in the Sacramento area. Paul and Dave ended up cooking Wildomar later that month and learned a lot from his experience. Brisket was his best category. From his emails, I could tell this only fueled his drive to master brisket because his emails got much longer. Eventually, we found ourselves competing together in Elk Grove in May 2015. We shook hands and talked a bit before walking into the cook’s meeting.
At the awards ceremony, I thought about all of the information that went back and forth and hoped that he would do well. Imagine my surprise when Paul and Dave’s team name were called for first place in brisket! I jumped up and screamed like I had won. Their joy was my joy. I’m sure the audience was confused with two teams jumping up and down. But I didn’t care. It was a two-year journey to that first-place brisket which led to their Reserve Grand Championship that day in Elk Grove and another great showing at an even bigger contest in Bakersfield. Congratulations to Paul Murray and his son, Dave for their hard work and dedication. And thank you for sharing your story with our Slap Yo’ Daddy readers.
* * *
My son and I are the Bar-B-Q’s-2Go Competition BBQ team. A tremendous thanks to Harry Soo who got us started in BBQ competition by attending one of his BBQ 101 classes in the summer of 2013.
We entered our first Backyard competition in November of 2013 at the 1st Annual Harry Soo Groovin Backyard Cook-off. It was a great learning experience as it made us feel more confident about BBQ and Competitions. By having open judging at this event, it allowed our BBQ to be critiqued by judges in person who were people we did not know.
We entered another Backyard event in Sacramento in October 2014 and placed 1st over-all in the division and that was all we needed.
2015 is our rookie year in the California Pro Division BBQ competitions and at the first two competitions we only did so-so, but not really very well overall. However, we were glad we entered those competitions as the learning experience was priceless.
By our third competition event in Elk Grove, Ca. we took 1st place in Brisket. Our total point scores won us 2nd place overall and Reserve Grand Champions. We just came back from the May 13th Bakersfield Competition and we placed 1st in Brisket again for 2 wins in a row. So our adventure has begun. Prior to Harry’s BBQ Class and with no prior culinary training, we thought we could BBQ but Harry took us to a whole different level. Harry Soo is a great guy who’s willing to help anyone with their BBQ addiction. Listen and learn from what he has to say and he will change your perspective about Q-ing.
P.S. After meeting Harry just be aware that you’ll be seeing more of your friends and neighbors.
Paul Murray – Bar-B-Q’s 2Go