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Jack Daniels World Championship

Competition & Events '09

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2009 Competition Year Re-Cap in Numbers & Highlights
  • 34 Contests

  • 8 Grand Championships

  • 7 Reserve Grand Championships

  • 29 Top 10 finishes

  • 23 Top 5 finishes

  • 2009 FBA Team of the Year

  • 1st Overall in the National BBQ Rankings ending 2009 (13 consecutive months)

  • Won State Championships in FL, AL, GA

  • Qualified for the American Royal Invitational '10

  • Qualified for the Best of the Best Invitational '10

  • In the "Draw" for the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational '10

  • World Champion in Pork - 1st Place Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational  

  • Qualified for Chest to Chest '09

  • Qualified for Butt to Butt '10

We got to go compete in The Jack! That had been a goal of mine since the beginning, five or six years ago. The trip was all I'd hoped it would be & more. And of course the journey getting there was just as fun. We won 7 qualifiers to get there, which was a blast. I am blessed to have a supportive wife & family, as well as 3 great friends who make up our team. You guys rock! Goals for 2010 include getting back to The Jack via 7 Qualifier wins, qualifying for the FBA Triple Crown Championship, improving my finish in a couple of contests that have eluded me, & teach a class or two on barbecue techniques to beginning teams.


Red = Qualifier

More Pictures HERE

Jan. 1
Wild Pig N Pepper Jam Felda, FL (KCBS)
7th Chicken, 3rd Ribs, 1st Pork, 2nd Brisket,
Yahoooo! I almost didn't go to this contest because it's over NYE & I spend that with my family, but my wonderful wife picked up on the fact that I was itching to go, so she sent me on my way. She is so smart :). Felda is a very unique contest, nestled in the middle of nowhere down by the Everglades. It is old Florida at it's best, & I do like that. I got to cook near my friends from the North, Quau and which was nice. The GC trophy is incredible, a 7.5' long alligator, carved out of a slash pine. Too Cool!!

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After awards with
Jenna & Buddy

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Big gator finds a home &
name: Tebow!

Jan. 3 FBA "Celebrate Last Year" Party
This is the FBA's annual party to award the Team of the Year awards, install the officers for '09,  & to celebrate all that was good with the '08 season. The party was held at the Whited's beautiful home in Ormond Beach & was very well attended, with folks coming in from 3 states. Amy, Robin, Tammy, & Woody were all able to come to join in on the festivities. Swamp Boys won the FBA TOTY, fulfilling my major goal for '08. I was also sworn in as president of the FBA for '09, having won the election earlier in the year. It was a great celebration for us, & I realize just how fortunate of a man I am.

Swamp Boys accepting TOTY Banner

Amy & me with the banner & TOTY trophy

Jan. 10 Central Florida BBQ Festival, Sebring FL
7th Chicken, 1st Ribs, 5th Brisket, 4th Overall/38 teams
Well, I beat my finish from last year (5th), but still can't score up to my potential in Sebring. I'll keep trying though! My friend Bubba won this competition for the 2nd year in a row, taking the wooden pig back to GA.

1st Place Ribs

Jan. 15 I received a VERY interesting email today, with the subject being: "Food Network BBQ Question". I didn't recognize the sender, so I figured it was someone asking about a barbecue episode they saw on TV. Boy was I wrong. It turns out the lady emailing me was in the Research and Casting Division of the Food Network, she had heard about me, and wanted to speak ASAP about my barbecue! Someone from the Food Network had heard of me - yikes! We spoke on the phone, but to tell the truth, I was so nervous I probably blew any chance I might ever have to be on one of their shows. Even if nothing ever comes from it, it's pretty cool knowing they were interested. :)
Jan. 24 Top of the Lake BBQ Affair Okeechobee, FL (FBA)
10th Chicken, 6th Ribs, 7th Pork, 1st Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION/42 Teams
I managed to improve over last year :) . I thought I had a really good cook, & it was, just not quite good enough. Need to improve my chicken. I arrived around 3 on Friday, got to set up in a quiet area by Big Jim, Bob in GA, Stan, & others. Real nice little neighborhood we had. Was invited by FK for pizza at Kenny's, which was great! Got cold Friday night, somewhere around 40*. Saturday was beautiful, & after awards a bunch of us went to Big Daddy Q's new restaurant "Cowboys". We had a lot of fun, ate some real good food, & even managed to get in a little trouble. Great times! Looks like I'm too far back to have a chance at The Good-One smoker in WH. BUT, I'm still #1 in the national rankings. :P
Jan. 31 Lakeland Pig Fest, Lakeland FL (KCBS) Vending
4th Pork, 4th Overall/60 Teams
When I showed up Friday afternoon, there was a TV crew there from Tampa & I got pegged for a silly interview which included a silicon gator oven mitt. Go figure 8). It was cold Friday night & I was cooking a bunch of butts for vending on Saturday. I woke up tired & cold at 5am to get my ribs going. Amy, Robin, Tammy & Woody had a really good day of selling, pushing 2+ cases of butts & 4 bushels of corn. I was real pleased with what I turned in, & although I did very well I was wanting more. Still #1 nationally, dropped to #2 KCBS.
Feb. 7 Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs "Smoke on the Water" BBQ Winter Haven, FL (FBA) Vending
7th Chicken, 3rd Brisket, 5th Overall/46 Teams, 1st Sauce/45 Entries!
The organizer Frank always puts on a great contest & this one was no different. We had a steak dinner Friday night, & he had a beach-side band playing down by the big bon fire. There was a delta wing kite flier who came in with sparks flying off his wings which was cool. Everyone really had a great time, & I stayed up too late. I missed a couple of key steps in my process which hurt my scores. Live & learn. On the plus side, Amy, Robin, Tammy & Woody sold out of 2 cases of butts & 4 bushels of corn by 2:30pm, which has to be some sort of record for us :) Cousins Shelly & Chuck both came out with their families & it was nice to see them all again. Unfortunately I was mostly sold out by the time they arrived. After it was all over a bunch of us went out to All Star's to enjoy some non-bbq foods. Another great time with great friends. Still #1 nationally, #3 in FBA.
*My buddy Jim put up a video on YouTube from the contest - thanks Jim!

I won a Willie Nelson autographed guitar for my 1st place sauce!

Feb. 21 Vending, Lake Wales Mardi Gras, Fundraiser
This is one of our annual fundraisers we do for Roosevelt Academy, where 4 out of 5 of us have worked together for 16+ years. This year we were able to give our school just over $1,100 which represents the most we've raised yet. Amy, Robin, Tammy, & Woody all sold 2 cases of butts worth of pulled pork & 3 bushels of corn. They did their usual great job, & we even ran out of buns a couple of times. Thanks to Ralph the Crazy Cuban & the guys at the Rustic for helping us out with that. and thanks to our team for giving up their Saturday to help our school. You guys are the best 8^)
Feb. 28 "Bark-N-Purr" BBQ Cook-Off Bronson, FL (FBA)
2nd Chicken, 7th ribs, 3rd Pork, 7th Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!!/22 teams
I won this event last year & I was really hoping to get my mojo back from my relatively slow start. Close but no cigar. I felt I had a really good shot at winning it, especially with the brisket I turned in. But it seems the judges didn't like it as much as I did, & it pretty much cost me. There's always next year! Congratulations to Bubba on winning #5 towards the Jack Daniels - 2 more to go. I have 3 more to go. Also congrats to Foy for his chicken, & Thomas for his pork. And then there's Damon who cooked in his first ever pro contest and finished in the top half. That's something to be proud of! 
Still sitting at #1 in the country & hoping to be able to kick it up a notch here in the near future.
March 7 Pigs On The River Palatka, FL (FBA)
1st Chicken,
2nd Ribs, 3rd Pork, 3rd Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!! / 19 Teams
Arrived Friday afternoon, set up on the St. John's river, & got started. There were some issues with the local fire marshal & many of the teams, which was unfortunate. They had a nice seafood buffet for the cook's dinner though! The weather was perfect, there was a nice car show, & I met some nice locals. I thought I had a pretty good cook & the judges agreed :)
Still #1!


1st Chicken

Grand Champion

March 14 Pig on the Pond Clermont, FL (FBA) Vending
7th Chicken, 3rd Pork, 8th Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!! / 30 Teams
I had a hard time getting my head into this one, as we had our dog Keeper go into the vets on Wednesday & then we had to put her down on Thursday. We had a great 14 years together, & she will be missed. :: We were shoe-horned in again at this event, but it always works out OK in the end. Big crowds Friday night, good crowds Saturday. We were not allowed to sell corn so we just sold pulled pork sandwiches and a few ribs. The girls & Woody worked slow & steady all day to sell out of 2.5 cases of pork by 4:30. You guys ROCK! Awards were fun because except for GC there really was no clear favorite. We all went out to celebrate afterwards which is always a lot of fun. :: My buddy Damon of Wooley Bully BBQ Mafia brought me a heck of a nice gift - a football autographed by Coach Urban Meyer. Check out the picture! (Ranked #1 nationally)

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Click the picture to read the inscription :)


March 19 I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a player in the inaugural NASCAR BBQ Shootout Series (, sponsored by Prilosec. It consists of the top 10-15 teams in the country, competing in a cookoff at 4 NASCAR races: Texas Motor Speedway, Charlotte, Atlanta Motor Speedway, & Bristol. Man it sounded like a blast, & I was excited and honored to go. Awards will be broadcast live on the SPEED channel on Sundays, big trophies, big checks! Well I got to looking at when the contests were (all FBA contest weekends), & adding up all the time off I would need to travel everywhere & be away from my family, & decided the time just wasn't right for me now. A very tough decision to make, maybe not the right one, but I made it none the less. I hope I'll get another shot at it next year. In the mean time, good luck to all my friends going. Wish I was there!
March 21 Hasan Shrine Bar B Que Cookoff Albany, GA (FBA)
5th Chicken, 2nd Pork, 4th overall / 32 teams
This first-time sanctioned contest hosted by the Shriners was really nice. Nice sites, great power and water. I felt I cooked pretty good & was satisfied with my efforts. I was disappointed with my finish, but was happy to see my friend Lee win the contest. He doesn't get out to cook often, but when he does he seems to make the most of it! Still ranked #1 in the country, #2 FBA.
March 27 Bagby Spring Break Bash
This is our annual first day of spring break party, probably our 12th or so. I cooked a whole hog, ribs, brisket & wings. We ended up having over 120 people show up, making it our biggest yet. We all had a lot of fun, saw lots of friends, made some new ones, & kicked off spring break in a big way!

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Click the pic to see the guest of honor :)

April 4 Orange Blossom Special BBQ Fest Dade City, FL (FBA)
6th Chicken, 1st Ribs, 2nd Pork, 6th Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!! /25 teams
For a first year contest, these guys sure had it going on. Nice sites, lots of power, good water, & a great location. Got to hang out & get to know some newer teams which is always fun. There are some really neat teams out there. :: I was happy with everything but my ribs, so go figure. I've been a little disappointed with my chicken & brisket lately, but thought I had nailed the brisket. Still more practice needed!

1st Ribs!

April 18-19 Cater Rowdy Cup swim meet
Fed several hundred people 2 cases of butts


April 24
Barnesville BBQ & Blues Festival Barnesville, GA (FBA)
2nd Ribs, 6th Pork, 4th Brisket,
GRAND CHAMPION!!! /40 teams
I was fortunate enough to have won Barnesville last year so I was hoping for a respectable finish this year. The B'ville crew put me in a great spot this year which I really appreciated - thanks TJ & Mike. Got finished with my work early on Friday so I decided to catch a nap, which apparently tickled some because all I heard about was all the pics people were taking of me while I slept. I sure need an enclosed trailer ;) Speaking of sleep, I overslept Saturday morning & had to play catch up with my ribs. Fortunately that worked out for me, & I was fortunate enough to be able to pull out a win. My hat's off to the Barnesville folks, they are working hard to make this better each year.




May 1 Planes, Trains, and Barbeque Tavares, FL (FBA)
10th Chicken, 3rd Pork, 3rd Brisket, 7th Overall/25 teams
Last year at this contest I came in 7th overall, so I was counting on an improvement; it didn't happen. It was the first time in 11 or so contests I finished out of the top 5, which was disappointing. And to top it all off, someone local went into my trailer while we were at supper Saturday night & stole my leftover bbq, along with my entire cooler & it's contents that was sitting beside my trailer.
May 9 Caloosahatchee River Roast and BBQ Festival Ft. Myers, FL (FBA)
1st Chicken, 1st Pork,
3rd Brisket, 3rd Overall/22 teams
This is a neat little contest. This year they added monster trucks, swamp buggies, & air boats to the mix. Cool stuff. I thought I was in real good shape with two 1st calls and a third. Not good enough! My ribs didn't do too well, & haven't been very consistent at all this year. Gotta figure that out if I'm going to survive the season. 
May 16
Tri-State Barbecue Festival Dothan, AL (FBA)
8th Chicken, 1st Pork, 1st Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!! /35 TEAMS
Got up early on Friday & arrived early afternoon in Dothan. We had to deal with some rain & wind, but nothing too bad. I was pretty confident in my cook, but knew there were a bunch of really good teams on hand. Felt very fortunate to win :)

1st Pork

1st Brisket

May 23 Day On The River Valley, AL (FBA)
8th Chicken, 6th Ribs, 3rd Brisket, 7th Overall /26 Teams
Rain, rain, & more rain. I had a side bet at this contest with my buddy Forrest of Forrest's Fine Foods. Unfortunately I lost, so in Palm Beach Gardens I have to wear clothes like Forrest's signature look: blue jeans, long sleeve shirt boots & cowboy hat. In the heat of the summer. As if that wasn't bad enough, I was tanked by one judge in each chicken and ribs, & three out of six judges hated my pork, landing me 20th out of 26 teams. Boy that sucked, I believe that is my worst pork finish ever. Quite a surprise. On a good note, I got to see Forrest win his first Grand Championship, which was cool. He's been close for some time now, so he was due.
June 13 **UPDATED 8/28/09** Blue Ridge BBQ Festival, Tryon, NC (KCBS) 
6th Chicken, 7th Ribs, 1st Brisket, 5th Overall /78 Teams
This marked my first time competing in NC, & Tryon sure is a nice place. It was a very hot weekend but I was fortunate to be placed under some walnut trees which really helped. The quality of the competition here is always very high, so my goal was a top 10 overall finish. I was VERY pleased with my results :). Unfortunately my pork came in 39th, otherwise things could have been a lot different. My friends Mike & Vicky, & their son Michael drove over from SC to lend a hand & it's always great seeing them & spending some time together, Thanks guys! Overall this was a really well-run contest & I hope to be able to go back again next year to give it another shot. **UPDATE: KCBS sent me a letter & a check, stating there had been a scoring error, & that I had in fact won 1st place brisket! Woo-hooo!! It did not change my overall finish.


Shady site

Beginning of the Smoky Mtns.

June 20

Grillin in the Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens, FL (FBA)
12th Chicken, 2nd Ribs, 11th Pork, 2nd Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!! /30 Teams
Woo-hooo, I qualified for The Jack! More about that later under "Mission Accomplished"
This first year Qualifying contest was incredibly well organized & managed, & in the beautiful setting of Palm Beach Gardens. It was also my first contest in my new custom Stump-made trailer so I was excited about that. The weekend was forecast to be very hot so I was really looking forward to the AC portion of the trailer 8). There were some power issues on the event side, but once everything was fixed I was very comfortable. My cook went well, but at awards I felt I was out of the running for GC, having only received 2 top 10 calls. It was a GREAT surprise to hear my name called as GC; a moment I will not forget. The reason for the cowboy get-up was I was paying off a bet I lost to my buddy Forrest, & I am glad that is over!


Receiving GC trophy from Mayor

Full blown cowboy get-up was HOT in the 95+ temps...

  Mission Accomplished! Winning this Qualifier contest marked the realization of my 1 main goal this season (and since I began competing): to automatically qualify for The Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational. The "Jack" is what most consider to be the Holy Grail/Super Bowl/World Series in barbecue. It is very difficult to get in. Last year I won several Qualifiers but did not have any luck in "the draw". At that moment I decided to try to take things into my own hands & get in by winning 7 qualifiers within the 1 year period. Mission accomplished :)
June 27 TN State Championship BBQ Cook-Off, Lawrenceburg, TN (KCBS)
3rd Sauce, 1st Chicken, 23rd ribs, 38th pork, 24th brisket, 15th/56
Last year - 1st, 12th, 12th, 1st, 3rd overall
Ouch! Sauce and chicken calls had me feeling very optimistic, especially since I was very pleased with all I turned in. Unfortunately the judges did not agree! Sometimes things like this just happen and there's nothing you can do about it. Very frustrating though, especially with my wife, kids, & in-laws coming over for awards. There's always next year! :)
July 4 Cater Sweet Onion Trading's 4th of July Party
Pulled pork, chicken, beans & slaw for 200. Went great!
July 25 Smokin On The Suwannee BBQ Festival Live Oak, FL (FBA)
4th Chicken, 5th Ribs, 3rd Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!!!/34 Teams
This first year contest was organized by Damon of the Wooley Bully barbecue team, & he did an outstanding job. Being a competitor himself, he knew what would be important to the cook teams & it showed. Fantastic job all around. I arrived a day early to help cook the Sponsor's supper & had a great time all weekend. It was the first contest with the new sides, which worked perfectly. I hope to have them wrapped soon to help finish off the trailer.
Aug. 1 Dillard Bluegrass & BBQ Festival, Dillard, GA (KCBS)
8th Chicken, 1st Ribs, 22nd Pork, 7th Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!!/57 Teams
When I first came to Dillard 5 years ago I fell in love with the contest & the community. This competition brings in a lot of the top teams from across the southeast & this year was no different. GA, FL, AL, NC, SC, VA, TN were all represented. Last year a 50-somthing place chicken killed my chance at a top 2 finish, so my goal this year was to get that score up. I did the exact same thing this year as last, & this year the judges liked it :) To win this contest means so much to me, & I am thankful to Jane (organizer) & her husband Steve for having me back again. To make the weekend even more special, I had my wife & 1 daughter with me to take it all in. We turned the trip into a vacation & beat the FL heat in the mountains for a week. Also had friends & neighbors from FL show up on Saturday which was a nice surprise! Also met a nice couple from Franklin, who we would see again the following week.

First place Ribs

Grand Champion, GA STATE CHAMPION!

Friends Mindy, Barry & son Adam joined us

Henry from Franklin
Aug. 8 Mountain High BBQ & Music Festival, Franklin, NC (KCBS)
36th Chicken, 4th Ribs, 4th Pork, 18th Brisket, 9th Overall/47 Teams
This was the 2nd contest of our mountain vacation trip. Franklin is just about 20 minutes north of Dillard, & we stayed in a cabin in the mountains for the week between. It was a great time in a beautiful area. As far as the contest went, I cooked better across the board than I did in Dillard. I made a change to Pork which paid off compared to last week's finish. Seeing as how we were so close to Dillard, I figured there would be a lot of the same judges. I got HAMMERED in Chicken, & took a beating in Brisket too. I felt either one could have placed in the top 5. What do I know?! :) Got to visit some with our new friends Henry & Linda, who were kind enough to share some of their Alaskan wild-caught salmon with us. Talk about good stuff!!! Also had some fun neighbors "The Meat Slingers". This contest was very well run, & we look forward to going back next year - with a new chicken recipe. ;)

Meat Slinger Clay sleeping off a long night of tending the pit

Sept. 6 FBA Funcook Clerbrook RV Resort - Clermont, FL (FBA)
th Ribs, 2nd Pork, 8th Brisket, 5th Overall/22 Teams
The Fun Cook lived up to it's billing; I had a blast. Since this contest did not count towards FBA TOTY points, I tried a few new ideas with my cooking. One I will keep, the others didn't work out so well. Another component of the weekend was the FBA elections, and I was also humbled being re-elected as the FBA president once again for 2010 - it was a great weekend :)

Sept. 19 Smokin' Pig Fest, Lake City - FL (FBA)
6th Chicken, 4th Pork, 2nd Brisket, 8th Overall/34 teams
This was a first year contest and went very well. My ribs took a beating, but what can you do. All in all a fun contest that I really enjoyed.

Sept. 26 Grant Bar-B-Que Fest - Grant, FL (FBA)
1st Ribs, 3rd Pork, 4th Overall/37 teams
Amy, Robin, Tammy & Woody joined me in Grant so we could do some vending. The crowds were off compared to years past but that didn't stop the crew from working hard :). My good friend Barry & his family came over to visit for a while, as well as my friend Shawn. It's always great to visit with these guys! After the contest Saturday night we went to Beef O'Brady's and I did the Nuclear Wing Challenge. You can see my ugly mug on the wall next time you go there ;)


Oct. 3 Coweta Up In Smoke Barbecue - Cook-off Newnan, GA (FBA)
10th Chicken, 3rd Ribs, 4th Pork, 1st Brisket (tie) RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION!!/28 teams
I missed out on Newnan last year because I made the trip out to KC for the American Royal. Even though I qualified for it again this year, I wanted to get back to Newnan. These guys treat the teams right with a supper Friday night and hot breakfast Saturday morning. The sites are real nice as are the people. The ONLY thing I don't like is the distance to turn in. I calculated that I spent 50 minutes walking to and from turn in on Saturday. Who says we're not athletes?! ;)


Tied with Bub-Ba-Q for 1st in brisket

Reserve Grand Champ!!

Oct. 10 Mulberry Fine Swine At The Pit - Mulberry, FL (FBA)
1st Chicken, 6th Ribs, 1st Pork, 1st Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION!!!/22 teams
Wow, that was unexpected! I knew I had had a really good cook, but to score 3 out of 4 first places was really cool! Early Saturday morning I realized I had left my rib rub at home, so I had to wing it. Glad it all worked out OK. Tammy & Woody came by to help sell food Friday night, & they had a good run. Saturday brought out Amy, later joined by Tammy & Woody again. Overall sales were slow, but we came out ahead of the game so all was well. Went out to eat seafood after it was over, followed up by a Gator win over LSU. What a great weekend with great friends! :)


1st Chicken

1st Pork

1st Brisket

I got my trailer sides wrapped by my good friends Terry & Melissa down in Okeechobee at Custom Graphics & Signs. They did a fantastic job, go check them out for your banner, signs, & wrap needs. They take good care of bbq folks, tell them I sent you.

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My towing set up

Oct. 17 Brooksville Blazin' Butts n Brisket, Brooksville FL (FBA)
9th Chicken, 5th Ribs, 6th Pork, 1st Brisket, RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION / 18 teams
I arrived to very wet conditions, & when I tried to park in my assigned spot I got bogged down in the mud. Thanks to Foster for the pull out :) All went well for me, but it just wasn't quite good enough to win. Munchee had a great cook, a big congrats to him!



1st in Brisket

Oct. 24
75th Chicken, 49th Ribs, 1st PORK!!, 23rd Brisket / 80 Teams
Holy smokes, we got a FIRST PLACE at THE JACK! Just actually getting the Invitation to go cook it satisfied a goal I have had for 5 years. Getting a 1st place in Pork was sweet icing on the cake :) I was really disappointed in my other calls, especially chicken! That's the same chicken that has taken 1st place 2 years in a row in TN, beating out some top 10 KCBS teams. Maybe they dropped it in the dirt on the way to the judge's table? Had it scored in the top half we would have ended up around the top 10, which was my goal. All 4 categories were cooked just as I wanted them to be, so I was satisfied with my part. I had heard that the "celebrity judging" at the Jack could throw some curveballs, & I guess that's what this was. Regardless, the 1st in Pork made everything better!
To read all about our trip to Lynchburg and see pictures, click here.

Group at BBQ Hill for the Cook Team's supper Friday

1st place PORK!

Oct. 30 -31 National BBQ News Best of the Best Invitational & Open - Douglas, GA
Invitational: 3rd Brisket, 10th overall/Open: 1st Brisket, __ overall
Another excellent event hosted by Kell Phelps & the National Barbecue News. We had to pick 3 categories to turn in, & I chose Ribs, Pork & Brisket for each contest. I was very pleased with my Invitational cook but only managed 1 call, a 3rd in brisket and a 10th overall. Unfortunately I never made it to awards, as some bug or something incapacitated me for about 8 hours. It made it a real challenge getting things prepped & I had to be extra attentive to sanitation, but with the help of lots of great friends, it all came together. When awards were done, I had managed a 1st in Brisket but was out of the top 10 overall. I can't find my score sheet but it seems it was maybe around 15. As always, Kell & the National Barbeque News put on a great couple of contests. And it sure wasn't my best performance, but there will be a next time. :)

Nov. 14 2nd Annual Bartow Bluegrass & BBQ - Bartow, FL (FBA)
11th Chicken, 10th Ribs, 2nd Pork, 1st Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION/26 teams!
We had a blast at this contest last year, & this was no different. Dana & her crew put on a very well organized, cooker friendly contest. From the low country boil supper on Friday night, to the eggs & bacon breakfast Saturday morning, to the drum line procession of the trophies to the stage before awards, it was all good. Amy, Robin, Tammy & Woody came out to help vend on Saturday, but the crowds never really developed. That was too bad because there was great live music all weekend & plenty for all to do. I was very happy with my cook. Something bad has happened with my chicken, so I'm working on some changes. I was really excited to win amidst all of the great competition, & to also get #2 towards the Jack in '10. Thanks to the gang for coming out & giving up your Saturday! :)


1st Brisket

Repeat GC :)

Nov. 21 Plant City Pig Jam - Plant City, FL (KCBS)
18th Chicken, 21st Ribs, 8th Pork, 3rd Brisket, 11th overall / 33 teams
It was kind of bitter sweet back in Plant City this year. Having won it last year, the odds were stacked against me for a repeat. Even though I was really happy with my effort, I didn't land on tables with judges who liked my flavor profile. That's OK, time to move on. Vending was slow but steady & the crowds were smaller than years past. Thanks to the gang for all of their hard work vending :)

Dec. 12 The FBA Triple Crown Invitational Championship - Perry, FL (FBA)
3rd Chicken, 5th Brisket, 4th Overall / 28 teams
Well I improved from last year! I decided to cook both the Open & Invitational for this weekend, which proved to be a bad idea. Twice the prep, twice the meat, twice the box building, & just me doing it. Plus I was breaking in a new pit. Next year if I'm invited I will concentrate on just the Invitational. It was a cold & rainy weekend in Perry but I was prepared for that. The new pit did great & I can't wait to get it mounted to my trailer & do some more cooks on it. I had reserved the sale of my 222 for a local guy here but I can't remember his name and don't have a phone number. If you see this, give me a call!



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