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Christian Garin of MadCat BBQ – West Covina, CA

Websites :

Association Memberships – SCA & KCBS

Bio Info : Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) 2x 1st Place Golden Ticket Winner. 2021 Year 12x Top 10 SCA Placed out of 21 Competitions, (Best was 1st Steak A and 2nd Steak B). Placed 17th SCA World Championship Texas out of 430+ competitors. 2021 Burnt Offerings Grand Champion KCBS Competitor Series Riverside, CA. I have a full-time job running a start-up company. BBQ is mostly a hobby of mine. Some weekends I do work with Dominic of FullSend BBQ running his pop-ups selling delicious BBQ.

Harry’s 3 Questions :
 – What do you like to eat when not competing? I love Filipino, Indian and Mexican food.
 – What do you like to cook for yourself and family? Seafood and Filipino food
 – What makes you happy? Cooking and serving delicious BBQ for customers, friends and family and seeing them satisfied. My cats and my cactus collection.

Events you like to compete at : Mostly SCA events

Farthest you’ve traveled for an event : Fort Worth, Texas

Additional Comments : My go to seasoning/rub is Harry Soo’s Moola Beef Championship BBQ Rub. I use this as my main rub for all my competitions. My tip for future aspiring BBQ competitors: Watch Harry Soo’s YouTube videos, practice many times (practice makes perfect) and always try your rubs before you put it on the meat!

Mike Bowles of Happy Bison BBQ – Palmer, AK

Websites : Happy Bison (FB) ; Alaska BBQ Association

Association Memberships – SCA, KCBS, ICS

Bio Info : 2016 Alaska Beef Showdown Grand Champion; 2016 Alaska State Champion in Chili; 2016 ICS Chili Verde 1st Place People’s Choice; Various rib and chicken 1st Places; 2021 ICS Open 1st Place People’s Choice WFC Golden Ticket Winner; 2022 SCA Smoke on the Water Steak A Golden Ticket

Harry’s 3 Questions :
 – What do you like to eat when not competing? Italian and Thai Cuisine
 – What do you like to cook for yourself and family? Ribs and Pastrami Style Smoked Brisket cooked on my WSM
 – What makes you happy? My wife, Great Food, Beautiful Beaches, and I love to see the reactions of people when they get 1st place at contests.

Events you like to compete at : I started competing at SCA contests this year (2022) and absolutely love it! The “When Pigs Fly” contest in Cape Girardeau, MO in January 2022 was indoors which was different and a lot of fun.

Farthest you’ve traveled for an event : Myrtle Beach, SC from Alaska

Any other details you would like to share? I give a portion of all of my winnings to
The Tim Tebow Foundation and St. Jude’s. Please consider donating to these outstanding organizations.

Additional Comments : Take Harry’s class! I took his class in February 2022 and saw immediate positive results in my BBQ this year at contests. I learned barbecue in South Carolina, so I had a bit of a learning curve competing at KCBS style events. Harry’s class has helped me understand what type of barbecue wins and the perspective of judges as well as how to just cook outstanding food on various styles of smokers.

Dominic Cagliero of Full Send BBQ – Carson, CA

Association Memberships – SCA

Bio Info : My name is Dominic Cagliero and I started FSBBQ during the peak of the pandemic. During my time in service, I had the opportunity to travel the world and witness the different methods of BBQ and it captivated my interest. Over time, I developed a knack in cooking and grilling which lead us to where we are today. At FSBBQ, we’re a veteran owned and family operated business that constantly strives to provide you quality craft BBQ without compromise.

 I’ve competed in a few KCBS sanctioned competitions as well as SCA competitions with my good friend Chris, MadCat BBQ. I found that pairing up with a wingman/partner during competitions helps tremendously. You guys will bounce ideas off each other and think of things to elevate your turn in product.

Harry’s 3 Questions :
 – What do you like to eat when not competing? Believe it or not, I haven’t had a plate of our own BBQ in months. I spend so much time around smoking the meat I start to get palate fatigue and want nothing to do with it. On a typical day I really do enjoy eating Filipino food, sushi, or KBBQ.
 – What do you like to cook for yourself and family? I can prepare a pretty wide variety of different foods. We try to cook healthy and nutritious dense meals at home.
 – What makes you happy? Smoking meats makes me happy! I’ve discovered this divine connection between myself and fire. To me, smoking meat is kind of like meat alchemy – you get a tough piece of meat, and you turn it into something special. It’s truly therapeutic for me.

Events you like to compete at : I enjoy backyard KCBS sanctioned competitions. I’ve always found the climate to be much more relaxed.

Farthest you’ve traveled for an event : At this time the furthest we’ve traveled was Las Vegas.

Garrett Johnson of “Chef G” Cooking & BBQ – Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Websites : Garrett Johnson (FB)

Association Memberships – SCA

Bio Info : Hey, my name is Garrett Johnson and I have been cooking for about 10 years now. After some time learning how to grill and smoke, we decided to compete in competitions. I have been competing in the SCA for roughly two years now, getting numerous awards of first, second and third and other wins within the top 10. The tip I would like to share is that there is only one way to truly produce the best product is to continue practicing until it clicks.

Harry’s 3 Questions :
 – What do you like to eat when not competing? What I enjoy eating when I’m not competing is burgers, pizza, Italian food and dessert. I try to avoid beef which is better for my health and my wallet.
 – What do you like to cook for yourself and family? When cooking for my friends and family, it’s normally testing out a new recipe for the comp. This could be practice steaks or the ancillary for what’s coming up in the future. But when it is not comp time, I enjoy trying new recipes that are highly rated. Sometimes we do an Asian fusion night or Italian or Indian food. Just whatever strikes our fancy that night, and that’s some of the best nights we have.
 – What makes you happy? What makes me happy is my family and friends, which is what got me into barbecuing in the first place. Cooking was a way for my father and I to bond, which allows me to spend time with my family. We have been cooking together at home now for almost 10 years and started competing to bond even more with people that are like minded. My family and friends make me happy along with cooking.

Events you like to compete at : The events we love the most are any that are put on by Freddy Roman. He puts on the best events in the SCA and makes sure it is always a great time. For a first-time competitor, I recommend waiting for Freddy’s event. It would be the best to start off with.

Farthest you’ve traveled for an event : The farthest that I have ever traveled for an event was Arizona. But we had a good time out there.

Freddy Roman and Christine of Tri-City Pitmasters BBQ – Orange, CA

Websites : @tri_city_pitmaster

Affiliations :

Association Memberships – SCA, CBBQA, & KCBS

Bio Info : We are a couple and educators that have lost so many times that every time we win, we consider ourselves lucky. Also, we promote BBQ and SCA events to raise money for different causes.

In competition we are considered one of the best Tri Tip cookers in the Southwest.
Harry’s 3 Questions :
 – What do you like to eat when not competing? We have lost desire to eat BBQ, but really enjoy everything else.
 – What do you like to cook for yourself and family? Tri Tip and tacos are amongst the most popular in our household.
 – What makes you happy? Eating, and hanging out with friends while testing new recipes or as we like to call it “Test Kitchen”.

Events you like to compete at : At the moment we have been enjoying competing in the SCA Circuit.

Farthest you’ve traveled for an event : Farthest I have traveled to compete has been Orlando, FL.

Any other details you would like to share? “Be nice to everyone on the way up because they’re the same people you will see on the way down”.

Chuck & Gretty Lauria – Castleview BBQ – Covina, CA

Websites : IG CastleviewBBQ

Association Memberships – SCA

Bio Info : We are a couple who enjoys cooking in the backyard for our family and friends. I also love to cook for my Fantasy Baseball and Football leagues as they all look forward to it each year. We enjoy competing in SCA ancillary’s and Steak competitions and any backyard competition we can find.

Contests you’ve won : I started competing in SCA events in 2021. I competed in 5 events and walked 3 times. On my third walk I was fortunate enough to receive my golden ticket for the 2022 SCA World Championships in Fort Worth Texas. Cooked against over 430 of the best steak cooks in the world. I was able to qualify for the finals and cook against the top ninety-four. I was definitely blessed by the good Lord that day, to our surprise and everyone else in that auditorium we ended up finishing 2nd in World Championships only to lose by 0.2.

We’ve done well both last year and this year in the SCA Bama -Q events held in Las Vegas. In 2022 we won 1st place in the Burger ancillary category. This year 2023, we finished 5th in the anything with shrimp cocktail category and double walked in the Steak categories. I finished 6th in steak A and 3rd in Steak B.

In 2022, I competed in 11 steak competitions (22 turn ins) and had 8 top 10 calls and 5 ancillaries with all top 10 calls. It’s really tough to get a call in the SCA circuit, there are so many great steak and ancillary cooks. When you hear your number called be grateful because you never know when it’s going to happen again.

Any secret contest tips you want to share, interests, etc. : Take Harry’s class one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
Be organized and follow the process.
Most importantly practice, be humble and enjoy the journey.

Harry’s 3 Questions :
 – What do you like to eat when not competing? Italian, Mexican Foods and a good Burger.
 – What do you like to cook for yourself and family? Grilled Chicken, Pork chops, Antipasto Salads.
 – What makes you happy? Cooking for my mom, wife, family and friends, watching all sports, Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, Kings, USC, UCLA. We love L.A.!

Events you like to compete at : SCA, Tri-tip and backyard competitions.

Farthest you’ve traveled for an event : Forth Worth Texas.

Any other details you would like to share? Always help your fellow competitors when asked, you never know when you might need some help or direction.
Have fun, cook a steak in a parking lot and don’t forget to spread BBQ Love.

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