Mississippi and Alabama April 2015.
We touched down in Atlanta Georgia and the following morning met up with the first of many friends we have made over the years, Kevin Blackburn of Superior Smokers, who kindly helped us when we needed smokers to use whilst appearing on BBQ Pitmasters. Kevin had also kindly been babysitting our Pirate 50 signs for the last 3 years, so it was great to see them again.
From there it was a short trip across the state line into North Carolina to stay with the very talented creator of those signs Pirate 50 aka Dale Wilson, and the ever beautiful Lady Janice Jeup Wilson at their fantastic little mountain hideaway.After a few days of intense fun and laughter, sightseeing and copious amounts of adult beverages we had to move on for the long journey south west to Gulfport Mississippi. We arrived a few days earlier for the competition as the organisers were hosting a ‘superstars of bbq buffet’ at the Island View casino resort for some of their guests and business associates and had asked us to help, along with 7 other teams to cook for it. First job was to set up and with the fantastic support of Scott Jones of Liberty Q we were ready in no time. The buffet went very well and the next day we met up with our great friends Byron Chism and David Roper of Buttrub, who were helping us with the rest of our equipment that we needed to compete in both competitions.
We went from one extreme to the other with our last competition being in the Alps in Italy in sub zero temperatures and heavy snow to this competition within a stones throw of a beautiful sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Both breathtakingly beautiful in different ways.
The competition went very smoothly for us, and as other cooks will tell you that normally means the results aren’t friendly. We didn’t score, or finish as well as we expected but still managed a 10th place walk and award for Brisket. We also made some great new friends such as, our neighbours Scott Smith of Quen Stewin and Brewin and we also got to see old friends again, such as Scott and Suzanne Burton of South Pork, who were a fantastic help to us along with Jeff Petkevicius of Give it to God. Congratulations to Bayou Boogie for GC and Quen Stewin and Brewin for RGC and to all who heard their names. Full KCBS results here http:/
That evening we were very kindly invited to spend the Easter weekend with Byron’s Family, which was a beautiful experience of true ‘Southern Hospitality’ at it’s very best. Then it was another long drive north to ‘ButtRanch’ nestling in the wonderful area of Mulberry Tennessee. Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit this place will know what I mean when I say ‘there are no words to describe it’. The closest I can manage is Gracelands meets BBQ Paradise! During our stay we squeezed in a trip to Lynchburg and also got to connect with bbq roots by helping to cook on a traditional cinder block pit.
The competition went relatively smoothly once again and once again we could have done better overall but again we managed another walk (well 2 if you include the team that travel the furthest award) for 5th place Ribs, which were thrilled with. Congratulations to The Specialists for GC and Uncultured Swine for RGC and to all that heard their names.
A massive thanks once again to all who made this possible for us. Our sponsors, Wicked Q, Fab, BBQ Guru, Head Country, Pro Q, McBrikett and American Dry Rubs and sauces. Our wonderful BBQ family, Scott Jones, Scott and Suzanne Burton, Byron Chism and David Roper.
Besides being sad to leave the U.S. and our friends behind again, this parting was a particularly sad one as we had to say goodbye forever to a lovely little guy, who we had first met 3 years ago in Dillard, Jake. Jake was Byron’s companion, best friend and bbq travelling partner for the past 17 years. Jake took ill on our last day and we all knew his time had come to an end. We are thankful to have met him and also thankful that we got the chance to say goodbye in person.