Many of you know that while I love to talk about the industry of BBQ & Grilling, which includes talking with top Pitmasters on the circuit, I rarely get to meet any of them face to face. I am not going to go on and on about why I don’t get to more events and do shows remotely… because quite frankly I refuse to be held hostage by WIFI internet connections and their utter lack of consistent up-link. However, for at least a few hours this past Saturday, I was able to meet some people doing their thing on the competition trail.
Overall, BBQ folks remain some of the best people on earth. They are so nice, so open, so willing to share everything with anyone else…and it was no different in Canton. This Sam’s events saw 28 teams come in for a chance to move on to the regional round…and then hopefully the finals in October. At the end of the day, Squeelers Famous walked out with the GC and Munchin’ Hogs at the Hilton took RGC. The other top 4 finishers also punched their ticket to the next round.
I was able to meet Troy Black, who is the series oranizer. Troy has been on the show a few times. We had a great chat and he laid out how the event works and what to expect during my time there. I hit up the Grilling demo that was lead by Mike McDearman and I was treated to some of the best beef sample in recent memory…especially the ribeye with Blue Cheese sauce…amazing!
I stopped by to visit my friends Matt and Marc from Velvet Smoke. They were nice enough to let me sample their brisket…and man was it GREAT!! The results showed with a 2nd place in that meat!
Then I headed over to the Munchin’ Hogs camp…Robert has been heading up one of the most successful teams on the circuit for the past 5 years…I was not going to miss a chance to meet him and his team in person! The experience is one that did not disappoint either!! Munchin’ Hogs is the current KCBS Team of the Year and their food backed it up. I was lucky enough to sample the pork, the ribs and the brisket. I was actually able to get my first taste of both waygu and prime briskets…both awesome! We had a lot fo great conversation and I watched as they turned in their chicken wings (an ancillary category that Tyson pays $1,000 to the winner) with a sauce that would blow your mind! It was not a surprise when they were picked as the winner of that category…and they were able to slide a cool grand in their pockets…Congrats on that!!
I closed out my day by meeting with Tim Holz from Timothy T’s and the High Rollers BBQ Team. Tim had a great site and uses multiple WSM’s in his arsenal. I was also able to meet his wife and two daughters which was a real treat for me.
I had a great day and finally got to meet some of the folks I have had on my show in person. If you have a Sam’s Club event near you do yourself a favor and go visit. You won’t be sorry and you may just get to sample some really great food!!