The 2nd part of our journey to compete in every state of America took us to Georgia and North Carolina in the summer of 2012.
We flew into Atlanta and spent a few days there sightseeing and relaxing before two back to back competitions in two different states. Atlanta is home to some great eateries. A few we visited spring to mind ‘Miss Pittypats porch’ and Gladys and Ron’s where we met up with our new friends Dennis and Melissa Brown of Smokey Tales BBQ team. Both places serving traditional Southern cooking such as Fried Chicken. We also visited the famous Coca Cola Museum and a drive-in movie!
This was to be the first time we had rented an R.V. too. After the last trip we thought it might be easier, especially taking in so much travelling and two different competitions to hire an R.V. So after picking up the R.V. we headed north to meet up with Dave Amend who was co-ordinating all of the equipment we would need for both competitions. Dave is another shining example of the fantastic people you can meet in the BBQ world. He not only brought everything we needed to get our meats prepped for the competition, he also re-arranged his schedule so that he could attend both competitions and move around the smoker which was loaned to us by Allen Tucker. As a KCBS CBJ Dave even arranged to judge at the second competition.
Our first competition was at Dillard Georgia. Any year at Dillard you will find as good a field of competition BBQ teams as you would at any world championship gathering. Teams such as 3 times world champions Jack’s Old South, Bubba Q, Buttrub, Wicked Q, Jiggy Piggy, Lotta Bull, Cool Smoke, Swamp Boys, Chatham Artillery, Warren Co pork choppers, Pit Bulls up in smoke, etc. The list was endless. We felt a little bit out of our depth but what better way to test yourself than against some of the best there is? Our neighbour to our right was Bad Byron Chism of Buttrub. A very talented cook a super-nice guy. Byron visits the U.K. and Netherlands annually to compete and appreciates how difficult it can be when you are basically cooking out of your suitcase. Nothing was too much trouble for Byron and he even took us for a meal on the Friday!
Again we cooked our normal way and made no changes at all. We thought we had an ok cook. The judges didn’t necessarily agree. We came 48th out of 59 teams overall. We did take a few positives from the competition though. We came 18th in ribs, beating a few of our BBQ heroes such as Tuffy Stone from Cool Smoke, Chatham Artillery, Swiggin’ Pig, Pit Bulls up in smoke, Warren County Pork Choppers, and Wicked Q who won Brisket with a perfect 180! Full KCBS results here http://www.kcbs.us/event/3302/dillard-bluegrass-barbeque-festival-gbc-qualifier Being around these quality cooks we couldn’t help but learn something, and after spending most of that night analysing our results a plan was formulated, which involved a major revamp of at least two catagories and a change in flavour profiles too, in preparation for the following competition in Franklin N.C.
In between the two competitions we managed a few days r and r at the beautiful River Vista RV resort which was reccomended to us by our good friend Sandy Johnson. The veiws there were some of the best we have ever seen and one of the reasons we fell in love with the area.
We arrived at Franklin N.C. rested and with some new ideas to try. Although you should never try new things at a competition for the first time we thought it probably couldn’t hurt our results too much. The contest was the Mountain High BBQ festival. This was also the second competition with KCBS reps Phillip and Kathy Brazier in attendance. These two people are also among some of the nicest people we have ever met and have since become good friends of ours. This competition also had some excellent teams competiting such as Jiggy Piggy (who went on to win the G.C.), Bubba Q (who took their second RGC in as many weeks), Serial Griller, Swamp Boys, Wooley Bully BBQ mafia, Bliztkreig BBQ, Big Bad Wolf BBQ. We also made some great friends at this competition too, from those listed, some of whom even made the long trip to see us when we competed later in the year at the Jack Daniels World Championship in Lynchburg Tennessee.We felt we had a better cook this time around and that was reflected in our results. We came 20th overall out of 37 teams, with a 3rd placed chicken (which was equal points with 1st place). Our ribs again remained steady with 17th place, pork was 23rd and brisket 31st (even after all of the changes). Full KCBS results here http://www.kcbs.us/event/3413/mountain-high-bbq-festival-car-show
After the competition it was back to touring this beautiful place and because we live in Leicester U.K. we thought a trip to Leicester S.C. was in order, and then a loop back into Georgia for our return home. Again we would like to thank everyone we met and everyone that helped us before and during this trip. Thanks especially to Noah and Dave for the loan of all of the equipment. Next stop The ‘Jack’ !!!