We’ve done the preparation. We’ve used our best techniques and tools. We’ve even crossed our fingers just in case a little bit of luck might be on our side. But I can’t help but hold my breath every time awards are called at a BBQ competition.
Hearing your name called as Grand Champions is the sweetest feeling for a BBQ team. Knowing that all of the hard work (and maybe some of that luck) combined for the win over some of the best teams in BBQ, is an adrenaline rush of pride and accomplishment. We’ve been fortunate enough to hear BBQ Guru called as Grand Champions over the years, and each one has been special. Little did I know, a 1st place brisket and a 1st place ribs call at a State Championship in New Holland, PA back in August would turn out to be not only enough to take Grand Champions, but would also open up another opportunity for something much bigger!
As a result of winning a PA State Championship, our name was placed in a hat with 4 other state champions to be drawn for a spot at the 2012 Jack Daniel’s Invitational in Lynchburg, TN. This was the last state event that qualified the winner for a spot in the drawing, and as luck stayed on our side, BBQ Guru was chosen to go to the world championships!
The last time we were at The Jack was 2010, and we ended up as Reserve Grand Champions. While it is one of our proudest accomplishments, the pressure is on to keep our BBQ at its best. Sometimes the right things happen at the right time, and they did again for us at the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour event in Laurel, MD. 3rd place chicken, 1st place ribs, 4th place pork, and 1st place brisket was enough to get another Grand Champions call which sent us off to Chesapeake, VA this past weekend to vie for a spot in the nationals in Bentonville, AR. We ended up as the Reserve Grand Champions, so Arkansas, here we come! Perfect practice for leading up to the world championships!
As the BBQ season keeps rolling along, we’d like to wish the best of luck to all of the teams out there competing! Know your techniques. Know your recipes. And know how to implement the right tools and technology. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed along the way, and can’t wait to head back to Lynchburg with the other state champs next month!