California December 2013.

Our next trip across the pond took us back to California. We have forged a great friendship with the person that helped us on our first competition in the U.S. Benny Adauto of Funtime BBQ, and we are always keen to see him and his wife whenever we can, so when he told us that there were two competitions, back to back, on 27th and 28th of December in Lake Elsinore California, we simply couldn’t resist! We also found out that as these were the first two competitions of the KCBS calendar for 2014, however good or bad we did we would be assured of a top 30 ranking in the entire U.S.A! (seeing as only around 30 teams were set to compete). We may never have the chance to see our team name that high in the rankings again!

It was a bit of a mad rush to make it as we flew out on the 27th and arrived finally at around 7 p.m. just in time to put the big meats on the smokers. We could not have done this without the help of Benny, as he arrived mid-day and completely set up our site for us. The first duty following that was to celebrate Benny’s birthday with him and we had ordered a custom made sign for his bbq team, we made him wear a birthday t shirt we had printed and also a great big badge. Other teams came out to celebrate with him and have birthday cake we had pre-ordered and collected en-route.benny sign

The competition was set in beautiful surroundings in an RV/camping resort on the banks of the spectacular Lake Elsinore. After the mad rush on arrival and prepping more meats through the night we managed to make turn ins on the Saturday. At awards we were amazed to hear our name called for 5th in Pork! Especially amongst some very good teams in California.

KCBS full results here. elsinore 2013elsinore pork 2

The following morning we caught up a little bit with the prep and even made it to Dave Malone’s regular 9.11 a.m. toast. and discovered a new ‘love’ Fireball cinnamon whiskey.fireballsunrise

There was no trophy for us on day two, even though we all felt that there were some improvements in all of the catagories except pork. We did, however, get a call for 8th place Brisket! Full KCBS Results here So a rough calculation (and not official) means we are currently around 15th overall in the KCBS Team of the Year and around 8th in Pork and 7th in Brisket! We are making the most of that because it won’t last long with other competitions coming up shortly.

We finished our trip by heading North to Las Vegas to see in the New Year in style and take in a little gamble and a few shows including Trent Carlini (one of the world’s best Elvis impersonators) and also Big Elvis at the Piano Bar in Harrahs. We finished up our last day with a Taco/Mexican food  crawl in Benny’s hometown with the best Mexican food we have ever had. Thanks again to Benny and Shari for a great trip and all of your help.