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Competition & Events '09

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The Swamp is Smokin'



The Stump's Smoker is here!

-= PREVIOUS YEARS =-
'04 Season
    '05 Season    '06 Season    '07 Season   '08 Season

Competition Schedule, Upcoming Events,
& Completed Events

 If you're interested in having your business be a sponsor for this fast-rising team, contact me now. Let's see how we can help each other meet our goals.

Completed Events:

December 18: Pulled Pork for 110, Youth For Christ

December 18: Private Party for 70

December 17: Winter Haven Bike Fest
   
It was a rainy day up until about 3:00, so a lot of people didn't come out. However, we were the only food vendor, so those who did come out ate with us :) We ended up having a good sale. There was a really good band playing, and the world-famous Swamp Babes even got to see Santa! Hmm, I wonder if they've been naughty, or nice?

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Introducing Santa's little helpers: Sweet, Spicy, and Original.
(Ho, Ho, Ho)
The girls try to bribe Santa with pork. Yes, we even cater the North Pole.

December 15: Staff Christmas Party for 75, The Groves 
   
Pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw.

December 9: Staff Christmas Party for 60, Roosevelt Academy
   
Smoked 2 inside rounds for our staff party, they came out great!

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25 pounds & 9 pounds

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Had a real nice smoke ring

December 3: Private Party for 60
   
Pulled pork and roasted corn on the cob for 60.

November 18-19: Plant City Pig Jam (KCBS Qualifier for '06
   
I did so poorly here I don't even want to mention it. I made the dumb mistake of trying 3 new methods in 3 categories, and they all bombed. I won't do that again. Once again, my Swamp Babes saved the day for me. We sold a case of butts and 2 bushels of corn (could have sold 4), which raised enough $ for us to compete another day. Saturday was so busy, I forgot to get any pictures. But they were looking as great as ever! :P Thanks girls!

November 11: Hope Creative School Fall Fest fundraiser, pulled pork for 250

November 8: Winter Haven Stingray's Swim Banquet, pulled pork for 125

November 4-5: The Great Key Largo BBQ Championship (KCBS Qualifier)
10th Overall
5th Chicken
9th Ribs
9th Pork

   
This was a beautiful setting for this first year contest. My cook site was right on the Atlantic Ocean. They fed us a seafood dinner Friday night, and a good hot breakfast Saturday morning. It was well attended by the public, and they came hungry. I will definitely plan on going back again next year.

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5th place chicken
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Sunrise, with the Atlantic behind me

October 30: Fundraiser for Lord of Life church, Plant City, pulled pork for 175

October 28-29: Minneola Fall Fest, Minneola FL (FBA Qualifier
12th Overall (30 Teams)
7th Ribs
11th Pork
7th Brisket
   
All I can say is thank goodness for our vending! I was feeling very confident with the food I turned in, and was counting on at least 1 call. That sure didn't happen :( But getting to spend the day with the Swamp Babes always makes things better. They worked very hard as usual, and by the end of the evening, we had sold out. So I am able to pay a few bills, and live to cook another day! The Swamp Babes ROCK :^P And if you ever get a chance to see The Wholigans - a Who tribute band - do it. These guys were awesome. I went backstage when it was over and fed them some BBQ. It was fun.

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Tammy & Amy

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Me taking a break

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Robin

October 22: 5th Annual Bagby Boo Bash
   
We had a great time with our party this year. Twenty-five friends came over in costume to eat, drink, and have fun. Costumes ranged from simple to fancy and everything in between. We had a barbecue theme with our getups. Amy was the chicken, Robin was the pig, Tammy was the cow, Kevin was a Stump's Smoker, and I was the barbecue chef.

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A chicken, a bbq chef, a cow, a Stump's Smoker, and a pig. We were the bbq gang.
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Amy and Tammy gang up on the FEMA agent.


October 15: Winter Haven Bike Fest
   
This was our second time vending at the bike Fest. The weather was much more pleasant, which brought out more riders. We did better this time, but I still think we can do better. We're slowly building a following. We'll be competing in Plant City for the November date, but December might be a go. Of course the Swamp Babes were there - I can ALWAYS count  on them :) What better way to spend an afternoon/evening than with best friends (who are babes) & barbecue?! Thank you girls; love ya!

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The girls try a new pose; Robin is not amused.
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This monster truck was too cool!

October 13: Senior - Q, lunch for 160 in Lake Wales
   
I got the idea for this from Mike on The BBQ Forum. The idea was simple: "To raise awareness of the importance of our elderly as a national treasure. To let them know that's how we feel about them. In short, to let them know we still care".  You can read more about it here at the Senior Q page on Mike's web site. 
    I got our school involved, and we took about 30 of our students over to the nursing home and let them sit down and get to know the seniors. Then they all enjoyed a fine lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw, and brownies. My wife Amy is the teacher for our culinary arts program, and she and her students were the major sponsor for this event. They paid for and prepared everything but the meat on their own, and did an outstanding job. There were lots of positive comments about the luncheon, and we're already planning on doing it again. We ended up serving over 180 meals (not sure where the "70" came from in the paper), and made lots of new friends. 

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Lots of slaw!
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Picture in the Lake Wales News.
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A shot of some of the group.


September 30-October 1: Mulberry Fine Swine at the Pit (FBA)
4th Overall (33 teams)
3rd Chicken - Trophy
3rd Ribs - Trophy
6th Pork
10th Brisket
   
Notes: Highest Professional Overall finish ever! That was pretty cool, & somewhat unexpected. Luckily I won a couple of checks, because the vending was terrible. They predicted 4-5,000 for the 2 days. I'd be surprised if there was 1,000. Still had a great time though. Hot Friday, & rain on & off Saturday. Amy & Robin came out to do some selling, but there just wasn't much of anybody buying. They didn't complain though; gotta love the Swamp Babes! Thanks girls, love ya :P

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Our Site
 

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Swamp Babes with 3rd place trophies


September 2-3: Kasihta Sand Town Festival, Cusseta GA (KCBS Qualifier)
12th Overall (31 teams)
7th Pork - Plaque
   
Notes: Almost backed out of this one because of gas prices hitting $3.00 + per gallon the day before. Took about 8 hours to get there & I'm glad I went. Saw some old friends & met a bunch of new ones. Lots of fun & laughing. On the cooking side of it, I thought I had done really well. I was thinking 4 top 10 finishes. But for some reason, the judges didn't agree with me. I got 1 call in Pork (7th), & that was it. Oh well, I'll take what I can get. I had a lot of fun, regardless. I always have a great time hanging out with Buddy.
    Since gas was so pricey, I left my trailer at home & just took what would fit in my truck. This meant I would cook on 2 WSMs. My black one, & the school's blue one. Things were a little cramped at times, but all-in-all it was OK.

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My cookers of choice for the weekend.

August 20: Winter Haven Bike Fest
    We had a lot of fun doing this, despite the high temps. It had to have been 110+ degrees out there on the asphalt, under the canopy. The temp finally started to drop around 6pm as some high winds came through. Overall we had a blast, caught up with some old friends, & made some new ones. And my Swamp Babes turned "Biker Babes" for the day :^)  
Love my Swamp Babes!!

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Tammy & Amy holding down the tent. Rubbin & Rub sharing a tender moment between ear shuckin'. Tammy, Rubbin, & Amy Once darkness set in, the Swamp Babes turned Biker Babes!

July 15-16: Greenwood SC (KCBS Qualifier)
13th overall (33 teams)
3rd Chicken - Trophy
15th Ribs
26th Pork
10th Brisket
3rd Taster's Choice - Trophy

    Notes: I love the people in Greenwood. This is probably the most friendly town/competition I cook in. Unfortunately, the judges up there don't feel the same way about my food. They like my chicken, but that's it. That's alright, I'll figure it out one of these times.
    A gigantic THANK YOU to Vicky &  Mike from SC. They teamed up with me for this cookoff in part to fulfill a requirement to further their skill level as a certified BBQ Judge. They are very active members in the SC Barbecue Association. They met me there early Friday morning and jumped right in helping out. Just like last year, they worked tirelessly both days and helped bring home our 3rd place in Taster's Choice. We need to reclaim our 1st place trophy next year. ;^)
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July 4: City of Lake Wales 4th of July Celebration
    Notes: Sold pulled pork sandwiches & corn on the cob. Did OK, but didn't sell out. The crowds were a little small, so the Swamp Babes took advantage of a lull to donate blood at the blood mobile on site. It was a first for Amy & Tammy; Robin is a veteran donor. They all vowed to do it again. As always, the Swamp Babes are the best! Love you girls!


The Swamp Babes make life saving blood donations.

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The proud donors showing off their battle scars.

June 25: Private Party: Competition Chicken & Ribs for 36

June 10-11: Blueberries & Barbecue Callahan, FL (FBA)
   
6th Overall (31 Teams)
      8th Chicken
      10th Ribs
      15th Pork
      9th Brisket
   
Notes: Rainy & windy both days. Still learning with my new pit. Tried to fire it off a new way and had a grease fire at 5:30AM. My own fault, & what a mess. Felt like packing up & heading home after watching 2'-3' flames licking at my briskets & butts. I was able to salvage them some, but it threw off my whole schedule & mojo. I was disappointed, & am looking forward to the day when I can do everything right at a contest. ;)

May 28: Frostproof Baseball Golf Tournament Fundraiser: pulled pork and baked beans for 125

May 24: Roosevelt's End of the Year Staff Luncheon: ribs, chicken, & sides for 40

May 20-21: BBQ by the Lake, Lake Alfred FL (FBA)
     Dead A$$ Last! Overall (26 Teams)
    
DQ Chicken
       6th Place Ribs
       5th Place Pork
       3rd Place Brisket - Trophy
   
Notes: People have always told me that at some point everyone will finish "DAL". I guess this was my time. My chicken entry was disqualified because 1 piece had evidence of blood in it. I saw it and there was evidence. Was it undercooked & a health hazard (which is the spirit of the rule)? Not at all in my opinion. None of the other 23 pieces were, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Anyway it's over. 
    I did a little math to see "what if?". Had my chicken entry placed 8th or higher, I would have won GC. Had it placed 12th or higher, I would have won RGC. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. 
    Thanks to the Swamp Babes for being there with me! I LOVE my Swamp Babes, they are the BEST!
Two friends came out to help and watch - Tom & Donnie. Thanks for being there guys and for your help. 
By the way, this was the 1st competition with my Stump's, and the 1st brisket I ever cooked on it. 

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Swamp Babes:
Robin, Amy & Tammy
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My wonderful wife & me
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Loaded up Stump's Smoker
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3rd Place Brisket

April 30: FFA Area IV Fun Day - pulled pork for 250

April 29: Frostproof Baseball Team Double Header - pulled pork for 50

April 19: Roosevelt FFA Banquet - pulled pork for 60

March 3-5: The Mitchell Company BBQ Championship & Hog Wild Festival, Mobile AL
    KCBS Alabama State Championship
   
26th Place Overall (83 Teams)
     26th Place Chicken
      6th Place Ribs (Medal)
   
Notes: This was my first time competing in Alabama, & it was a lot of fun. Many top teams came in from 15 states, including Jack's Old South, Bar-B-Quau, Whoop-de-Que, Smokin Triggers, Big Bob Gibson, The Woodhouse Grill, Team Top Chick, Buttrub.com, Music City Pig Pals, and many more. There was a great sea food dinner served Thursday night. The weather Friday through Sunday was beautiful. My site was probably about a 1/4 mile from the turn-in tent, so I did a lot of walking. My chicken was too salty. My ribs were probably the best I've ever cooked. I was pretty excited to get my name called considering the teams that were there. I tried a new recipe on pork and it bombed (65th); scratch that one off the list. I overcooked my brisket, & it came in 43rd. Had I just placed in the middle in pork I would have finished in the top 15. Hada, coulda, shoulda... Got to meet a bunch of new people that I had been wanting to meet, & catch up with lots of old friends. An excellent time that I hope to repeat (& improve upon) next year.

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My view from the back 40

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South Pork, Buddy, bbqBob

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Friday night

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Buddy takes 2nd in brisket

February 11-12: Citrus Center Boys & Girls Club Smoke on the Water BBQ Winter Haven FL (FBA)
  
11th Place Overall (28 Teams)
    5th Place Chicken (Trophy)
    7th Place Ribs
    10th Place Brisket

   
Notes: This was the first sanctioned BBQ Cookoff in Winter Haven, & was a big success. There was a catered steak dinner Friday night for the cook teams & sponsors, which also included free beer, wine, & a band.  Amy & Tammy were able to come over and join in on the dinner and music. Everyone seemed to have a great time. It was another cold night with temps in the 30s, but Saturday warmed up nicely. The crowds weren't very big so vending was slow, but with great friends, the beautiful weather, & great music by Skinny McGee, it didn't matter. Amy & I were filmed again for about 20 minutes for a professional BBQ show that should start in the summer. I'll post show times when I get them.
    Thanks to the Swamp Babes Amy & Tammy for all of your help & for being there!

February 5: Lake Wales Mardi Gras Parade, Roosevelt Academy Fund Raiser, Lake Wales FL
   
Notes: I started cooking Friday night & slept by the cooker & in my truck. It was one cold night! Winds out of the north at 15mph & 40 degree temperatures made it feel pretty darn cold. Cooked 26 butts & 6 cases of corn. When all was said & done, we were able to give the school a little over $1,300. Thanks need to be given to my sponsors Mac's Meats for giving me a great price on the pork, & Billy Bob's Tree Service for supplying me with the oak. Thanks also need to go out to the Swamp Boy team members who came to sell for the school: Robin, Susan, Tammy, Amy, Tim, & even our principal Mr. Rizer. Great job everybody!
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January 27-29: 9th Annual Lakeland Pig Fest, Lakeland FL
    KCBS Florida State Championship - SWAMP BOYS 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
    29th Place Overall (52 Teams)
    11th Place Brisket
   
Notes: Swamp Boys got our butts kicked in Lakeland! It was a cold, rainy, & windy Friday night again. Just like last year, the weather started out rough. But unlike last year, Saturday cleared up to be a beautiful day. It was the Backyard division of this contest one year ago where we entered our first contest on our own, & won Grand Champion. In every contest since then, we have entered the Pro division & have had our name called in every contest (7 last year) for placing in at least 1 category. It was a streak that I was really enjoying. This year's Pig Fest put an abrupt end to that, & on our 1 year anniversary no less. I thought all of the food we turned in was pretty good, except for the ribs that were slightly over-cooked. Oh well, what can you say? Time to start a new streak at the Winter Haven contest.
    On a bright note, Tammy, Robin, Susan, & Tim sold a couple of cases of butts & 6 cases of roasted corn. They went nonstop for hours & hours without slowing down. We had a line 10-15 people deep all day long, & everybody went away full & happy. These 4 Swamp Boys deserve a standing ovation! We now have the means to do it all over again at a few more contests; vicious cycle, isn't it? ;^) Thanks so much you guys. 

December 31-January 1: 5th Annual Wild Pig & Pepper Jam, Gator Hammock, Felda FL
KCBS Florida State Championship

    12th Place Overall (24 Teams)
    8th Place Chicken
    8th Place Brisket
    2nd Place Chili
  
Notes: Amy, Tammy, & I traveled down to Felda for this New Years Eve Cookoff. I'm hoping we'll make it an annual tradition; I had lots of fun and hope they did too. Pig Pals (GC), Buttrub.com (RC), HomeBBQ.com, Smokin' Triggers, plus lots of other good teams were there. This was a contest where I really thought I had put out some of my best bbq to date. Everything was on schedule for once, my boxes looked really good (for me), and I had a really good feeling. Apparently the Judges didn't agree ;). Although I was able to keep the streak alive: two medals for the two 8th places. The high point of the weekend was the 2nd Place in Chili! It beat out some seasoned Chili-Heads' entries, and tasted awesome; great job guys!!

 

Competition Schedule '04

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