After 2 visits to the ‘Jack’ in 2010 and 2011 to assist the British entry, BBQ Shack, we took our love of the competition a stage further in 2012 by qualifying to compete at the 23rd annual Jack Daniels World BBQ Championship in Lynchburg Tennessee. We could not have been more excited and proud.
We left Leicester the weekend prior to the competition after 3 months of preparation, not only for the cooking, but also for our attempt at the prize for the ‘Happiest home in the Hollow’. This also meant we had more luggage than normal, 2 large cases each filled to the brim with 50lbs in each! Thanks to British Airways for not charging us any extra though.
We also had extra team members for this visit too as there was so much work to do we would never have managed without the help of Sue and Jon Swann and Charlie and Gemma Langridge.
We flew into Nashville and met up with old friends such as Jim Beauchamp from Canada, Bill and Ange Eppinger (our American mum and dad) and Benny and Shari Adauto (who had helped us on our first trip earlier in the year to California). We had a few days in Nashville sightseeing and prepping for the competition itself. We included a visit to the Grand Old Opry.
We picked up a rental RV and headed down to Lynchburg and met up with our friends Phillip and Kathy Brazier who we had met in Georgia and North Carolina and who had kindly allowed us to have box upon box of BBQ rubs, sauces and equipment delivered to their house nearby. They took us all for dinner that night and even made us home made desert at their beautiful house.
We woke early the next day and began to set up our cook sight to be ‘typically English’ with a fully printed gazebo cover made to look like an Old English Tea Room and even a printed cover to make our porta potty look like an English phone box. Throughout the weekend the girls served tea (kindly donated by Yorkshire Tea) and scones provided by local baker The Celtic Cup.
Again we were kindly helped with equipment by another BBQ brother from GA Dennis Brown from Smokey Tales BBQ. Thanks Dennis.
For the parade the girls were dressed elegantly in 50’s dresses and the guys were dressed like a typical 50’s day at the beach in England, complete with braces, knotted hankies and rolled up trouser legs. We played traditional British music including our national anthem as we joined the parade through the centre of Lynchburg.
At the end of the parade everyone is seated on old style yellow school buses and transferred up BBQ hill to a fantastic evening of food and a couple of samples of Mr Daniel’s finest, along with live music and a beautiful sunset. Anyone who is ever fortunate enough to attend the ‘Jack’ should not miss this evening.
After a couple of hours Miss Piggy and I left the party to go back to the hollow to start the cook for the World Championship.
Throughout the weekend we were visited by so many friends that we have met in our visits to the States so far it was astounding. Thankyou all of you for making the journey. We were visited by pirate 50 and his wide Janice who we had met in North Carolina. They make the most fantastic signs for BBQ teams and had made one for us.
We had extra catagories to cook for this competition. Besides the usual 4 of chicken, ribs, pork and brisket we also would be turning in sauce, cooking from the homeland (which we cooked chicken tikka masala) and dessert. Here is Miss Piggys beautiful dessert entry.
Our fantastic week was drawing to an end but we still had the awards ceremony to attend. By the time we got there most of the seats had been taken so we sat very near the back but as we never expected to hear our names called we thought that wouldn’t matter. We were wrong as we were called quite early in the awards for the ‘Happiest home in the Hollow’, and were awarded with, amongst other things, a beautiful engraved barrel top. We were all absolutely elated. The rest of the awards went by and we queued up to receive our full result sheets to find out how good (or bad) we had done. Our full results were a shock to us and also a measure of how far we had come in two and a half years. We had the best results by any international team for almost a decade! We were 25th overall. We were International 1st place! We won the ‘Happiest Home in the Hollow’. We came 19th in ribs, 11th in pork (equal 10th but lost a coin toss), 6th in cooking from the homeland, 13th in dessert and 16th in cooks choice. Our overall placing would have been higher had our chicken and brisket not been slightly overcooked. Even so we finished higher than many of our heroes such as Slap yo Daddy, Smokin Triggers, Jacks Old South, Quau, and Motley Que Crew! We were amazed, astounded, proud. So many things but we will never forget it and hopefully we are lucky/good enough to get there again soon. Full KCBS Results here http://www.kcbs.us/event/3788/jack-daniels-world-championship-invitational-barbecue