Miss Piggy’s travelled to Venice Florida to compete in our first ever Florida BBQ Association sanctioned competition. We left the U.K. on 12th April in a gloomy 8 degrees C, heading for sunnier climates. After an overnight stay in Tampa Florida we headed north to visit a very good friend Byron Chism of Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. Byron is keen to help any European teams interested in improving their BBQ techniques, so we were more than keen to allow him to help us, considering the man’s acheivements. The first stop for anyone visiting has to be his fantastically impressive trophy room. Byron is also a very gracious host and allowed us to stay in his competition bbq 5th wheel, which is luxorious and spacious.The help Byron will give teams is based around a team cooking their product for him and then him and his wonderful team giving you honest and open feedback and critique. He allowed us full use of his kitchen facilities so prep was easy. Cookers were available and ready for our use.
When the practice cooks were done we got some time to see the beautiful area of Santa Rosa Beach and visit some of Byron’s favourite spots.As a special treat to remember, we even got to meet Unca Duke who was Elvis’ former bass player.
We were sad to leave but we travelled the 500 miles back down south to Venice for our first ever Florida BBQ Association competition in Venice Florida. We had rented a small trailer for use at the competition and the local company Pattisons RV rental www.pattisonsrvrental.com were unbeleivably helpful. The trailer was set up, connected to power and water when we arrived and they had even loaned us an ez up to use too. The rest of our equipment came from a mixture of old friends and new within the fantastic bbq family and we can’t thank them enough. We had smokers and equipment from several teams including Tommy Harden of Blitzkrieg BBQ, Unknown BBQ, Rub Bagby of Swamp Boys BBQ and Terry McKay or Git R Smoked BBQ. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity and kindness. Also a big thankyou to Dana Hillis of Big Papa’s Country Kitchen for his endless help and also our next door neighbours Thomas ‘bygolly’ Jefferson and Mark and Hollie for supplying copious amounts of alcohol, throughout the weekend, and taking us to visit the local watering holes the following week.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to have competed with such great people and in a great competition with some really great teams. The icing on our cake was the fact that we finished 4th overall in a strong field of 57 teams and came 1st in Brisket! Our first U.S. top ten call and our first 1st place in a catagory in the U.S. FBA full results here. http://www.flbbq.org/contests/venice_scores.htm and here http://www.flbbq.org/contests/venice.htm To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement. Thanks again Tommy for the ‘JuJu’ from your cooker.Also a massive thanks, as always, to our wonderful sponsors. Head Country, The Ingredient Store and BBQ Guru, for helping to make these trips possible.