For a couple of years now we have been incorporating these 2 KCBS contests into a family vacation and loving it. This year was no different.
The Dillard contest has always been one of my favorites, set in north GA in the mountains. Jane and her husband Steve are fantastic organizers and always put on a very cooker-friendly event. The cook site is adjacent to The Dillard House which is where we always stay the first few nights and we make sure we eat at least one meal there. They serve great Southern cooking up “family style” and it is a treat!
I was very happy with the food I turned in to the judges, and for the most part they liked it. Out of 66 pro teams we scored 18th ribs, 3rd pork, and 4th brisket. If I could have scored a top 10 chicken we could have been GC. A top 20 chicken we could have been RGC. But with a second-to-last place chicken (65/66) a 15th overall was my destiny. What happened to my chicken? Heck if I know. It’s been pretty good this year scoring in the top 10 seven times in my last 10 contests. I would have paid $100 to watch and hear the judges scoring it. The highlight of the Dillard contest though was watching my wife Amy wine 3rd place in the Dessert category! She has got it going on with her “secret entry”.
The Franklin contest is also a very nice one, just about 20 miles or so up the road from Dillard. Again I was very happy with what I sent the judges, and even made a tweak to my chicken to see if I could improve my score from Dillard. It seems my change worked, as I got 14th in chicken, 6th in ribs, 6th in pork, and 4th in brisket out of 52 pro teams to lay claim to Reserve Grand Champion and the awesome stained glass window trophy! And to top it off Amy won 1st place with her “secret entry” in the dessert category! Those were great surprises and sure made the 10 hour drive home more enjoyable. Congratulations to The Smokehouse Mafia who managed 0.0006 more of a point than I did to take Grand Champion. It was a close one.