Jan 272013

This was our 10th year competing at the Lakeland Pig Fest, our first year was in Backyard and the next nine as a Pro. It is our largest vending gig and this year we set a Swamp Boys record. Between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon I cooked 120 racks of ribs and 150 pounds of pork, plus my contest meats. Add in the 4 bushels of corn and the Swamp Babes did a fantastic job moving all that food!

The competition side was disappointing for me as I did not get a single call. First time in several years that’s happened. I ended up 22nd out of 70 pro teams. It broke a string of 7 contests of finishing in the top 3. Lakeland has always been challenging for me for whatever reason. I think I might just look at it as a great vending chance from now on. On the plus side in the overall standings the Grand Champion, 3rd, 4th, and 6th place teams (out of 70) are all grads of Swamp Boys Q School. I was pretty excited about that!

 Posted by at 7:18 pm
Apr 052010

So for 2009, I finished in the top 10 over 85% of the time. I finished in the top 5 68% of the time. I came in Grand or Reserve Champion in over 44% of the contests I entered.  Those are numbers I’m pretty proud of, and they are what kept the Swamp Boys ranked as the #1 team in the country on the National BBQ Rankings for 67 weeks, including all of 2009. We’re talking out of over 4, 400 pro teams.

Jump forward to 2010. Here is a list of the contests I entered and where I finished overall:
Okeechobee 3rd/44
Lakeland 18th/73
Winter Haven 4th/46
Starke 5th/38
Haines City 12th/37
Clermont 14th/30
Dade City 10th/25

Granted, 3 of those above are good finishes. And  historically the start of the season is my weakest stretch.  But still, those others have me worried. In Haines City I did not get a call! It has been years since that has happened. Something is changing, now to figure out how to deal with it.

 Posted by at 11:48 pm