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BBQ Competions Around California [Split from Memphis Minnies report on S.F.]

ChowFun_derek Jul 8, 2006 09:04 AM

WOW! where and when do you cook briskit competitively? I want to come...I watched 2(!) programs on competiitive BBQ on the Food Channel and am jazzed to go to one...

  1. Civil Bear Jul 10, 2006 07:06 PM

    Hi Derek-

    Just to be clear, although I am competing against the pros, this is just a part-time hobby for me. There are two main competitions in Northern California each year. The biggest one is in Modesto in early May and the second is in Fairfield at their Tomato Festival on August 19th (I’ll be there barbecuing chicken and brisket for the Big Nugg BBBQ Co.). They are both sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) and are qualifiers for their main event in Kansas City.

    Unfortunately, neither are all that "spectator friendly" like you see on TV, IMHO, as they seam to be more about the contestants than the spectators. The public is permitted to walk around during the day of the event and attend the awards ceremony, but the contestants are not allowed to give out samples or sell products *during* the competition. However, that is not say that if you manage to befriend one of the contestants you couldn't stick around to share in the leftovers afterwards!

    p.s. there are also a few local BBQ vendors at these events, but they are not quite "contest" quality, IMO.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Civil Bear
      ChowFun_derek Jul 11, 2006 06:35 AM

      Still sounds like fun...isn't there one in Tahoe, or maybe Reno...John Asquattas (sp) Nugget..perhaps...?
      Smelling the heavenly blue smoke and not being able to partake would be hell!

      1. re: ChowFun_derek
        Civil Bear Jul 11, 2006 10:44 PM

        Yeah, he hosts an annual rib cook-off at the Nugget in Reno each year (Labor Day weekend?). Unfortunately, the competition is by invitation only. But I have heard that it is more of an interactive event where you can purchase ribs from the contestants.

        1. re: Civil Bear
          ChowFun_derek Jul 12, 2006 05:01 AM

          Labor Day.....Reno, I wonder if that would be too far for a Chowdown....NO I think not!

          1. re: ChowFun_derek
            m
            melly Jul 12, 2006 06:42 PM

            My husband and I did the Reno Rib Cook off a few summers ago. We were a little disappointed cause we just wanted little samples..we'd pay for em..but ya had to stand in line for a long time and it seemed one had to spend a decent amount to "sample". We just chose a couple of places as a result. It was very hot outside as well..so dress accordingly. Lots of Qer's there from other cook-offs.

            1. re: ChowFun_derek
              ChowFun_derek Jul 13, 2006 04:38 PM

              Thanks for the info...it doesn't sound like fun........maybe I'll wait for cheap flights to texas, kansas city, or nashville...and just pig out!

      2. Civil Bear Jul 13, 2006 09:30 PM

        If I could choose one event to attend, it would be Memphis in May. Interaction is part of the contest, and the contestants are judged on their set-ups.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Civil Bear
          r
          ricepad Jul 13, 2006 10:28 PM

          The site judging is probably why I would NOT go to MIM. I prefer the KCBS model, where the focus is on the product, not the patter.

          1. re: ricepad
            Civil Bear Jul 13, 2006 10:52 PM

            As a contestant, I definitely prefer the KCBS model too. But since you can't sample the food at KCBS events anyway (at least in California), I would probably have more fun at the MIM. And it’s not like they aren’t putting out world class ‘cue at that event.

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