Sun BBQ Fest (Mohegan Sun), Uncasville, CT
by Mike Fay, MABA Past President and Pitmaster for Aporkalypse Now
So itís not quite in the Mid Atlantic but in spite of a bit of a drive ten MABA members joined 59 other competitors for a weekend BBQ competition at the Mohegan Sun Casino. †Not only is this a big money event but the resort and staff go out of their way to make sure that all the teamís needs are met and exceeded. A special thanks need to be added for providing a free entry to this yearís Sun BBQ Fest for the MABA banquet raffle.
Sun BBQ Fest is a unique event in that the teams that choose to do the Peopleís Choice competition on Saturday split the $2 per sample income with the casino thus allowing the teams to recoup and in some cases cover all of their competition expenses. Peopleís Choice competitors served the items of their choice both Saturday and Sunday to a large and enthusiastic crowd.
For those teams not doing peopleís choice; Friday night was the party night. Much revelry could be heard across the parking lot where the festival was located and we were even treated to a surprise visit from Mr. Jack himself.
Sunday was showtime and all the teams put forth their best. Big Ugly continued their outstanding showing in the dessert category with a 2nd place finish. When the KCBS completion smoke cleared it was Shake ‘N Bake BBQ on top for Grand Champion with Meat @ Slims earning Reserve. MABA members had a respectable showing with 3 top 10 overall finishes and 8 of the top 20 slots.
First place winners:
Chicken – Smokin Hoggz BBQ – MA
Ribs – Smokin Bulldogs
Pork – 5-Alarm Backyard BBQ
Brisket – Que and a Half Men
Grand Champion – Shake ‘N Bake BBQ
Reserve Grand Champion – Meat @ Slims
Check out the full competition results here.
All in all this is a very well run event with good prize money paid deep, fabulous infrastructure, great staff and amenities, plus several opportunities for teams to recoup their costs and interact with their new fans. I know weíll be back, if for nothing else the Pepeís pizza!