Tag Archive: Old Virginia Smoke

  1. BBQ Jamboree Double, May 12 – 13

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    By Luke Darnell, MABA President and Pitmaster of Old Virginia Smoke

    The BBQ Jamboree was held this year with beautiful weather in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Not only did it feature one of the first SCA Steak Cookoffs in MABA land, but it also started the farewell tour of John Busch, a long time KCBS rep in the area.

    John was honored repeatedly throughout the weekend by Jeremy and James, including them giving John his own championship belt, and creating an orange t shirt with John’s likeness on it.  We look forward to celebrating John Busch throughout the year and all that he does for BBQ.
    The SCA contest was great fun on Friday night, with Rockin Robyn’s winning first place.
    Day one of the BBQ Jamboree double was also the Virginia MABA Cup.  This year it was won by Old Virginia Smoke, who also finished as Reserve Grand Champion.  The title of Grand Champion was won by Smokin’ Hoggz from Massachusetts, captained by two time world champion Bill Gillespie.
    Day 2 of the BBQ Jamboree was won by those local yokels Sauce This! BBQ, with reserve being won by 3 Eyz BBQ.  Sauce This! BBQ was also the two day total winner, and won the BBQ Jamboree double championship belt.
    Full KCBS results for Day one here.
    Full KCBS results for Day two here.
    Congrats to Sauce This! BBQ
  2. The Great Brunswick BBQ Throwdown Brunswick, MD

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    By Mark Kenney, Pitmaster of Sauce This! BBQ

    The 2nd Annual “The Great Brunswick BBQ Throwdown” kicked off the MABA contest season for 2018 on March 2nd and 3rd! A nor’easter decided to greet it on Friday to make load in a bit of a challenge from time to time. Winds gusted well above 60 mph at some points but BBQ Competitors are a hard crowd to scare off. Thankfully the winds died down good bit over Friday night and the weather remained warmer than last year.

    The Steadman-KeenanAmericanLegionPost96  hosted the cooks meeting, a breakfast, some dinner activities as well as opened its doors so the judges would have a warm and comfortable place to do what they do!

    The contest is located in downtown Brunswick next to the local train station. The Brunswick Heritage Museum was recently renovated and makes for an interesting side jaunt to see railway history as well as a large interactive model train layout.

    The awards were hosted in one of the towns local parks and featured custom made trophies from one of the local supporters of the contest. Out of the 29 teams: Uncle Pig’s Barberque Pit scored a first place chicken, Old Virginia Smoke a 1st place Ribs, Poke N Smoke 1st place Pork and Smoke-aholics finished off the individual meats with a 1st place brisket. The final tally ended with Uncle Pig’s Barbecue Pit taking the RGC and Old Virginia Smoke taking the Grand Championship the second year in the row at this contest with a dominant score! This also earned them the first MABA region Jack draw of the year!

    A special thanks to all those involved in pulling off a contest with less than perfect weather. It’s part of what the BBQ cooks expect but we appreciate the hard work and dedication of all those involved in powering through during it. All in all, it was a great kick off to the 2018 MABA season and we can’t wait for next years Brunswick Throwdown!

  3. MABA Well Represented at the KCBS Banquet

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    by Luke Darnell, MABA President and Pitmaster for Old Virginia Smoke

    2017 was another fantastic year for MABA teams at the upper levels of the KCBS rankings.  This region continues to thrive year in and year out, and has become a force to be reckoned with in the BBQ world. Congrats to all that heard their name called at the KCBS Banquet in January, and good luck to everyone in the upcoming year!

    KCBS Overall Top 25 MABA Teams

    8.  Wolf’s Revenge BBQ

    13.  Old Virginia Smoke

    24. Checkered Flag 500 BBQ

    25.  Redneck Scientific

    KCBS Chicken Top 25 MABA Teams

    1.        Old Virginia Smoke

    18.      Who Cares BBQ

    23.  Shortsville Smokers

    25.  Sauced! BBQ Team

    KCBS Ribs Top 25 MABA Teams

    11.  Muttley Crew BBQ

    17.  Wolf’s Revenge BBQ

    19.   3Eyz BBQ

    23. Good Smoke BBQ

    KCBS Pork Top 25 MABA Teams

    10.  Good Smoke BBQ

    11.  Shortsville Smokers

    20. Sauced! BBQ Team

    23.  Redneck Scientific

    24.  The Smokehouse Mafia

    KCBS Brisket Top 25 MABA Teams

    5.  Wolf’s Revenge BBQ

    6.   Checkered Flag 500 BBQ

    20.  4:20Q

    25.  Old Virginia Smoke

  4. MABA President Luke Darnell Teaches at Traeger Headquarters

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    Earlier this month, Luke Darnell, president of MABA and pitmaster of Old Virginia Smoke, had the opportunity to teach a BBQ shop class at Traeger Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    There were fifty eager people to sit down for four hours and get some tips and tricks to make great BBQ.  Here are some pictures from the event–
  5. MABA Teams Have Strong Showing at Prestigious KOS Event

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    By Brian Walrath, Pitmaster of Brown Liquor BBQ

    Four MABA member teams had the extreme privilege and honor to compete in the annual Smithfield King of the Smoker Invitational earlier this month in Rancho Mirage, California.  Sterling Ball of well know Big Poppa Smokers created this event years ago to bring together the best of the best to compete in one last contest of the year in a format where the playing field is about as level as you can get.  It’s a literal who’s who of barbecue royalty mixed in with teams that have qualified by kicking butt week in and week out on the KCBS circuit and finishing toward the top.  Sterling hand picks 25 teams and provides much of what they need to cook, in many circumstances, a very long way from home!

    Our very own MABA President, Luke Darnell of Old Virginia Smoke was fortunate to be invited, along with Scott Adams and his team, Sauced!, Chiles Cridlin of Wolf’s Revenge, and Dave Pavone of Pavone Brothers BBQ.  Dave earned his way in by winning the Smithfield BBQ Classic earlier in the year!  All of these pitmasters had such a memorable time that they wanted to each share a little about their experience in California.  Way to go guys and thanks for sharing!

    Scott Adams, pitmaster of Sauced!

    When you get an invitation to spend a weekend at a beautiful resort in the Palm Springs, California desert and cook against 24 of the top pitmasters in the country it doesn’t take you long to say ‘Yes!’.

    We’ve been fortunate enough to get this invitation 2 years in a row and each time it has exceeded our expectations.  Being able to test your BBQ skills in an old school, no gimmicks, no frills, no holds barred cook off you really get to see who is the best pitmaster.  With a crowd like this you can have this event 24 times and you would potentially get 24 different winners.  There is a reason they call it King of the Smoker.

    Not too long ago, a BBQ competition used to be showing up with a smoker, a table and few chairs and a tent and sleep (maybe) while tending the fire and cooking meat you bought at the local grocery store or maybe local butcher.  The King of the Smoker takes you back to those days by making the playing field as even as you can make it.  Everyone gets the same meat, 2 whole chickens, 3 racks of ribs, 3 pork butts and 1 wagyu brisket.  Having major sponsors like Smithfield and Snake River providing the meat (and meals) show how important they think competitive BBQ is to their business  Add to that 2 prep tables, 2 chairs and the usual equipment (foil, pans, gloves, cutting boards) and you providing your knives, rubs, injections, marinades and sauces.  Most everyone gets to use the smoker they use back home and you are doing all of this under a tent, out in the open, for all to see.  No heading off in to your RV or trailer to put those secret touches on the meat without prying eyes.  It really is an event unlike any other.
    Sterling Ball, aka Big Poppa, and company make it a 5 star event and all of this is done to bring BBQ to the public in a way its not really presented anymore.  Out in the open for all to see.  Getting to interact with the ticket buying public after turn ins is a blast.  These patrons know they are seeing the best of the best and being able to go up and strike up a conversation with a top pitmaster is a truly unique experience.  And on top of it all money is raised for a great cause, the Casey Lee Ball Foundation.  Everything done here raises money for the foundation.  The event really takes BBQ for a good cause to a new level.
    Luke Darnell, pitmaster of Old Virginia Smoke
    This year, Old Virginia Smoke was blessed to be invited to cook at the Smithfield King of the Smokers event in Palm Springs, California.
    There is no other event like it.
    Sterling Ball and his team from Big Poppa Smokers make sure that the BBQ teams want for nothing.  All of the food for all of the functions – expertly prepared.  1st class entertainment.  Great learning opportunities and a real focus on interacting with the public.  Basically—a BBQ amusement park.
    The best part of the entire event however is the focus on charity, particularly raising more than $170,000 for the Casey Lee Ball Foundation.   The charity doesn’t stop there, as Big Poppa Smokers also awards funds to his teams in the Elite Team program to the charities of their choice.  The focus is on giving all weekend, and the experience was an inspiration.
    We had a fantastic time, meeting new people and seeing old friends, and cooking BBQ in an amazing setting.  There were many funny moments that you just don’t have at a BBQ contest, because we were all basically exposed.  There was no trailer to hide in.  Everyone had the same amount of space, and cooked out in the open. There was singing, dancing, lucky beers, unlucky beers and a camaraderie that has rekindled the love and excitement of what we do.
    Very proud of how the MABA teams cooked and participated!  The Mid-Atlantic is strong and did well in an all star field.
    Dave Pavone, pitmaster of Pavone Brothers BBQ

    KOS…Oh My!

    Pavone Brothers set out to win the Guinea Pig in Smithfield, VA in August 2017.

    Not that we don’t want to win them all but this one had a seat at the King of the Smoker up for grabs.

    KOS is a prestigious competition that only a handful of top notch teams get invited to. Well, we won; it was a surprise to even me.

    This was a double edged sword. Why? Because all I could think of was how to get ready for KOS. The logistics are a huge undertaking, NOT The KOS team, Jessie, Jody and James the flame.  They know just how to make everything work and man, work they did. Sleep…not so much.

    Now here is a thought, you call someone you do not know 2,500 miles away and say, “Hey, I am Dave Pavone and I get to cook KOS, would you mind lending me your  Jambo?”  I expected a very long silence, but right away I got a, “sure thing, I’ll have it there for you on Friday morning.”  From then on it was unreal!

    Our plan for KOS…family, food, and fun, and try not to come in last just like every competition we cook.

    At KOS,  you only need to worry about cooking.  It’s the Meca of BBQ, it’s BBQ Christmas, it’s the biggest, bestest BBQ party you will ever see. Every one is treated like kings and queens.

    I have never cooked a competition that catered to the cooks like this one. The welcome party was food, drink, music, and who knew Annella Kelso from Snake River Farms could sing? Full of surprises!

    I woke up early eastern time on the west coast, all very still on the competition site.  Then Big Poppa’s trucks started rolling in, and in what seemed like minutes, tent city was set up and everyone’s cook area was setup.

    If you said I need…you can bet it was there. We were provided box lunches on Friday during set up. Then right into meat draw.  Dinner followed and this was all top-notch food…no slacking.  I did not fix breakfast burritos as I would normally do, so I was pleased to see tamales being handed out to all the teams; and man I could have just keep eating them, they were the best I have ever had.

    Our cook went as normal, but I really liked our chicken and felt that was our best shot for a call.

    Our ribs were, well our ribs (not a good year for ribs).   The pork was average and I just knew it would not hold up to this group of cooks. Now my brisket – I loved my burnt ends but I overcooked the flat to my standards.

    We finished Chicken 17th out of 25, ribs 14th out of 25, pork 24th out of 25 (say what), and brisket 2nd out of 25, for a finish of 19th out of 25. So we were on top and on bottom and some place in the middle.

    On the plane ride over Jayne asked, “How do you feel?” My answer, “It’s like I am Rocky, I just do not know if I was doing the first or second show ☺.”  I made sure I met every team and every team had time to say hello and spend time talking. Poor Johnny Trigg,  I think I talked his ear off. Every team was top notch. Hell I got to cook next to Chris Lilly, needless to say, I was star struck from one end of this comp to the other.

    My goal is to get back to the best competition I have ever seen. Sterling Ball and crew not only out did any competition I’ve ever seen, but they also raised $160K plus for the Casey Ball Foundation that benefits kids pediatric kidney foundation. Just a note with all this BBQ competition and fund raising going on, Sterling’s son Casey was set for a kidney transplant the following Tuesday. I don’t think I could have kept my head on the competition especially one this far over the top.

    Chiles Cridlin, pitmaster of Wolf’s Revenge

    It’s not just about competition BBQ

    Over the past few years we have seen the social media postings about King of the Smokers or KOS for short.   Yes, it’s an invitational contest that is organized by Sterling C. Ball, or “Big Poppa” as we have come to know him.  Ok, so it’s a BBQ contest.  What’s the big deal?

    Guess what?  It’s A VERY BIG DEAL and arguably one of the biggest deals in BBQ!  This contest brings together 25 of some of the best cooking teams in the country, including more than a hand full of legendary pit masters!  This is also an invite to cook for one of the highest payouts (over $75,000.00) in all of competition BBQ.  King of the Smokers is a KCBS recognized contest  (I am not saying sanctioned because Team of the year or TOY points are not awarded) but the philanthropy, hospitality and format are like nothing we have ever experienced in BBQ.

    Imagine putting your rubs, spices and knives in the cargo hold of an airplane and traveling to the other side of the country.
    No trailers, no running water, no electricity for the pits, no digital monitoring devices or electric knives!  Only one lonely lightbulb from a single clamp on painters light is allowed to guide us through the cold desert night.  We also have no idea what the judges may be looking for on the West Coast.  The cook has not even started and we are already feeling the challenges of being outside of our time zone and way outside of our comfort zone.   The venue is the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort in Rancho Mirage, California and its five star all the way.  Every meal, including the reception, Sterling’s handmade tamale’s for breakfast, Smithfield and Snake River Farms provided proteins for dinners…  It was all over the top.  This could be a little intimidating as we are used to sleeping in trailers and eating gas station hot dogs, not fine dining and resort hotel rooms when on the road competing.

    The contest format is not typical for KCBS.   All the teams are given coolers via lottery containing two whole chickens (you have to turn in both white and dark meat), three Smithfield Prime racks of ribs, three Smithfield pork butts and one Snake River Farm brisket.   No one gets to bring in their own meats and there is even a secondary inspection after the coolers are received.   When you are used to turning in six thighs, one quickly realizes that two whole chickens don’t have six of anything.  More pressure…  At least we didn’t have to garnish our boxes and that’s a big relief.  Oh, chicken turn in time is 11AM and not noon.  All times have been moved up by an hour.  That’s ok, just keep the curve balls coming.

    Next we (and most other teams) had a smoker loaned to us that we have never cooked on before.  We were fortunate enough to land an Ole Hickory ACE BP (Big Poppa that is) and a brand spanking new BPS drum.   We fired the ACE up on Friday to make sure it would reach and maintain our preferred cooking temperature.  Bingo!  It worked like a charm and we can keep our timeline.  Santa needs to bring us one of these!

    All the teams are provided a 10×10 tent, two 4 foot plastic tables and basic supplies such as gloves, foil, paper towels, foil pans and charcoal.  A trip to the local Walmart revealed that there was an unexplained shortage of Blue Bonnet margarine…  Who would have bought all that?  Onto the next store and then the next.

    A quick look across the courtyard and we see the banners going up on the tents of all the teams.   It took the fingers on both of my hands to count that there was not one, not two but SEVEN pit masters that I have taken classes from!  To me, all of these guys are living BBQ legends and the ones I have not taken classes from will be or at least should be teaching BBQ classes in the future.  Either way, no pressure here, right? I am sweating and its 50 degrees out.

    With the exception of carving up the two chickens, our cook went without a hitch.  Barry and Randy (Wolf’s team mates) continuously reminded me how much faster the other teams were at trimming their meats on both side of us.  Thanks guys, more pressure.  With a few adjustments, we succeeded in nailing our timelines and still managed to make appealing presentations, even without garnish.  We finished first place in chicken with a score of 180, 11th in ribs and although our pork and brisket were near the bottom of the pack, Wolf’s Revenge BBQ placed 14th overall in a field of 25 of the toughest competitors and conditions we have ever faced.    As tough as it was, it was a very even playing field and tested our cooking skills in a way we had never been tested before, all while still having fun!

    That’s just the BBQ.  For those of you that have not picked up on the philanthropy and generosity that BPS does for different children’s charities, it’s worth taking a read at elite.bigpoppasmokers.com.   This single Smithfield KOS 2017 event raised over $167,000 for the Casey Lee Ball foundation for Pediatric kidney Disease Research.   100% of every dollar raised goes directly to the cause as this is truly a non-profit foundation.  In addition to the money raised for the foundation, Sterling also announced the contributions raised for the BPS Elite Teams.  Each BPS Elite Team gets to choose a charity near and dear to their hearts.  Based on how a team performs during the year, their KCBS points are tallied and a dollar value is assigned.  BPS cuts a check to the chosen charity on behalf of that BPS Elite team.  Over $35,000 dollars in donations were announced for those charities that span coast to coast and all for benefit of children.

    King of the Smokers is the best example of what can happen when big BBQ comes together with great cooking teams and both corporate and private sponsors, all for a great cause.  Everyone wins, especially the kids that benefit through BBQ.

  6. Maryland State BBQ Bash Bel Air, MD

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    Submitted by “The Nutty BBQ Professor”

    The Maryland State BBQ Bash once again proved to be a great contest.  Organizers were not sure what year we were in.  Guesses varied from 11th year to 14th year, so we will just say that the annual event lived up to its expectations with big crowds, great BBQ and 47 teams vying for the Grand Championship and one Maryland team looking to grab the MABA Maryland State Cup title.

    The Grand Champion was New Jersey’s own Ercole Chila of Uncle Pig’s BBQ Pit.  El Presidente’ and The Lil’ General (Luke and Kim Darnell) from Old Virginia Smoke brought home RGC honors.  Pavone Brothers, Aporkalypse Now and Drilling and Grilling rounded out the top 5 Overall.  Great job teams!

    3N1Q and Que Talkin’ to Me swapped top spot and second place in both the Chicken and Rib categories.  Pavone Brothers continued their hot streak with a win in the Pork category while Quegasm took home the barrel for 1st Place Brisket.

    The win in the Pork category helped garner Dave Pavone and Pavone Brothers the MABA Maryland State Cup.  I heard that Dave will be attending the BBQ Gives Back contest in Urbanna, VA in 2018 to go up against the other state cup winners to see who is named the king of the mountain in for MABA.

    Congrats to everyone that was called and thanks to Craig Ward and his staff that keep bringing this quality contest back each year.

    Chicken – 3N1 Que
    Ribs – Que Talkin’ To Me
    Pork – Pavone Brothers BBQ
    Brisket – Quegasm

    RGC – Old Virginia Smoke
    GC – Uncle Pig’s Barbecue Pit

    Full KCBS results here.

  7. BBQ Jamboree – Virginia Two-Step, Fredericksburg, VA – May 12-14

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    by Brian Walrath, MABA Board Member and Pitmaster for Brown Liquor BBQ

    James and Jeremy always put on a great contest and their BBQ Jamboree event is one of the marquee events on the east coast.  This year they decided to remove the festival parts of the weekend and just concentrate on putting on a great barbecue event.  AND, this year they decided to take the leap and do a double contest back-to-back.  Power, water, and all of the things pitmasters rely on are always top notch right down to the free ice for teams.  Fifty-four teams competed on day one and 43 teams fired it up for day two.  Two additional awards would be given out on this special weekend in the Mid-Atlantic.  First, the two-day winner would be awarded for the most overall points over the two-day cook.  This prize would bring additional money and a WWE-style kick-ass belt!  Also up for the grabs for all Virginia teams on day one was the MABA Virginia State Cup, additional money, and cool knife set by Gunter Wilhelm.

    James and Jeremy also invited everyone to a pot luck dinner on Saturday night and supplied the beer!  Teams brought amazing dishes and it was so nice to sit and relax with fellow teams, judges, reps, and organizers under one roof and enjoy some live music as well!


    Sharon Gibbs of Checkered Flag 500 celebrates her birthday with a tasty brew! (Sharon, you can blame Luke for this pic!)

    The results for Day 1:
    GC – Who Cares BBQ
    RGC – Uncle Toad’s Competition BBQ

    Chicken: Pork Barrel BBQ
    Ribs: Mudville BBQ
    Pork: Old Virginia Smoke
    Brisket: Uncle Toad’s Competition BBQ

    Full results from Day 1 here.

    The results for Day 2:
    GC – Old Virginia Smoke
    RGC – Rockin Robyn’s BBQ

    Chicken: Old Virginia Smoke
    Ribs: Lil Will’s Southern Que
    Pork: Rockin Robyn’s BBQ
    Brisket: Checkered Flag 500 BBQ

    Full results from Day 2 here.

    Overall Champion:
    Old Virginia Smoke

  8. Interview With the Champs – Luke Darnell, Old Virginia Smoke

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    by Brian Walrath, MABA Board Member and Pitmaster for Brown Liquor BBQ

    You may not believe this coming from me, but I met Luke Darnell over a few drinks.  Since that time, we’ve grown a great friendship.  He’s been there for me in some dark days and been there to celebrate some of my greatest accomplishments.  That’s just Luke…he’s always there for me, for you, for everyone.  He’s the mayor of Barbecuetown as I say.  He knows everyone.  He’s an ambassador for our sport…and has a KCBS award that says so.  He won’t like this, but I’ll say it here anyway…I once asked Luke what his goal in barbecue was.  He looked me dead in the eye and without hesitation said, “I want to be the best in the world.”.  He’s spent countless hours practicing and even more hours traveling to cook.  Combine that with a thirst of learning everything out there and taking multiple classes, he’s put himself and the Old Virginia Smoke team in position to be among the best in the world…and I for one won’t count him out to one day be the very best.

    Now, I like to feature first-time winners and lesser know teams with recent wins here with IWTC, but after coming to Fredericksburg, VA for the first annual two-step double contest and winning the whole shootin’ match, I thought it might be time to feature the big bearded softy with the best branded gear in barbecue!  So, without further ado, I give you Luke Darnell…

    Boom!  Let’s get to this early…as a fellow Northern Virginian, how was it to win on day two in what is one of our closest contests and home state?

    Luke Darnell, Old Virginia Smoke:
    I can’t tell you how much it means to us. We’ve never won in Virginia.   Plus, the BBQ Jamboree was our very first contest more than five years ago.   Winning it is something the three of us have thought about for a long time.

    Tell me what you were thinking after day one.  Did you feel good about being within striking distance for the two-day overall after a great sixth place finish or did you think otherwise?

    LD, OVS:

    We thought we had a chance, but knew we had to fix ribs.  They always say not to make any dramatic changes to your program, but we knew that we had to make one.  But we were also very aware That Who Cares BBQ and Uncle Toad’s were gonna have strong cooks as well.

    You had Leigh Anne (teammate who recently moved to Arizona) back with you for the first time this year…what was it like to have the band back together?

    The Lil’ General, Kim Darnell, Luke Darnell, and Leigh Anne Terry…Old Virginia Smoke!

    LD, OVS:
    We were like peas and carrots again.  Like we were never apart.  Just smiles all around.

    Describe the Lil’ General (Luke’s wife and teammate Kim) in four words.

    LD, OVS:
    Fierce.  Competitive.  Jovial. Vibrant.

    This weekend you brought out a stellar John Busch impersonation.  What was your motivation and inspiration for the character?  Can we expect to see that or any other characters later this year?

    LD, OVS:
    I had been thinking about doing it for a while.   I even once had one of his trademark peach polos and hats from his van in my hands.  Johns one of my favorite people.   I jut thought it would be fun.  I don’t think there are any other characters planned, but you never know when one might pop up.

    Ok, here’s the short answer round, rapid fire:

    Favorite 80s band?  –  Prince
    Turn in music genre? – Gangster rap
    Bacon is ________? From the gods
    Most people don’t know I’m _________? I have a degree in creative writing
    Favorite brown liquor? – willet pot still reserve
    Favorite competition? – BBQ Jamboree
    Cats for dogs?-  so tough.  Probably dogs.
    Favorite place to vacation? – I love Key West

    You’ve travelled all over the east coast, and as far as Arkansas and Kansas…what’s your favorite area to compete and why (reason does not have to be related to competitions)?

    LD, OVS:
    That’s a super tough question.   Each area has its high points and different reasons to go.  Kim and I love traveling to new states and cooking.  This year we went to Tennessee, and have future trips planned for Vermont and Illinois.  So I’d kinda have to say—our favorite area is wherever we’re cooking!

    I ask this to all the teams that do IWTC, so you’re getting it too…what piece of advice would you give to teams to up their game or push them over the edge and win that first GC?

    LD, OVS:
    Practice is key.  You have to be able to maintain consistency in your product, and in yourself.  Keep a clear head and stay on your tasks.

    What do you like to do outside of BBQ?

    LD, OVS:

    Is there anything else???  I do like wine tasting, bourbon tasting and beer tasting.  I also love golf and reading.

    As many know, you’re the MABA president.  What do you want to leave as your mark on the association and/or what do you want to accomplish before your time as president concludes?

    LD, OVS:
    Hopefully we will be able to build a strong base for the Association to be able to grow and thrive in the future.Q:
    Now that you’ve won a grand in Virginia and been featured in IWTC, what are the rest of your goals for 2017?LD, OVS:
    To keep on trucking, and have fun at as many contests as we can.  Love our BBQ people.Q:
    Any parting shots?LD, OVS:
    Everyone be safe out there and get ready for an awesome summer.

  9. BBQ Gives Back Urbanna, VA

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    Submitted by…The Masked BBQ Writer



    The first BBQ Gives Back challenge was held in Urbanna, Virginia.  Bill and Mary Jones and their team put together a really nice first year event at the Bethpage Camping Resort.  Each team had a full site with hookups abound.  The weekend weather was exceptional for March, and 64 teams were signed up for what is probably the earliest MABA contest ever held.   The contest made a nice donation to Operation BBQ Relief and packed up food and canned goods for a local food bank as well.  Nice job BBQ Gives Back!

    BBQ Gives Back was unique in that it was a standard KCBS contest with two other contests within the main contest.  Confused?  Yeah, so were some competitors, but Bill and the team were able to sort out everything and keep the contest flowing nicely.  The two “sub” contests were the MABA State Cup Champions Cookoff (Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association) and the Virginia Grands Championship.  The MABA State Cup winners competed against each other using their position in the overall standings and Forest Hill, Maryland’s Rockin’ Robyn’s BBQ came out on top of a tough group of State Cup winners!  In the Virginia Grands contest, Wolf’s Revenge BBQ took home top honors.

    On the KCBS side of the field Old Virginia Smoke won the Chicken category.  Richmond’s own Wolf’s Revenge with Chiles Cridlin took home the big trophy in Ribs.  K&D Smokers with Kevin and Debbie Gary out of Winston Salem, NC took home top honors in Pork while Chris and Joan Clegg of Rhode Hog BBQ from where else but Rhode Island took 1st in Brisket.  Nice job to all that were called in each category.

    The Grand Champion on the KCBS side was Wolf’s Revenge BBQ and Reserve Grand went to Brian and Shannon Turner of Muttley Crew BBQ.  Great job in a really stacked field of competitors itching to get their BBQ season started!

    Individual meat winners:

    Chicken – Old Virginia Smoke
    Ribs – Wolf’s Revenge
    Pork – K & D Smokers
    Brisket – Rhode Hog BBQ

    Grand Champion – Wolf’s Revenge
    Reserve – Muttley Crew BBQ

    Full results can be found here.

  10. The Great Brunswick BBQ Throwdown Brunswick, MD

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    by Mark Gibbs, Pitmaster of The Checkered Flag 500 BBQ

    The 2017 Mid Atlantic BBQ region kicked off in cold style in Brunswick, Maryland with the first annual Great Brunswick Throwdown.  Beth Johnson and her team did a great job under some tough conditions to make this first year event a good one.  There were a few logistical hiccups, which we find at most first year contests, but Beth was there to do her best to make us all comfortable!  The small town of Brunswick was very welcoming to teams and we all did our part to help add to the local economy too.  A couple of the local eateries were pretty packed when we visited them!

    The weather was the story of the weekend.  The high for the event may have been in the upper 30’s.  I know that the thermometer on the big blue trailer was reading about 17 degrees at 2:30am on Saturday.  Despite the chill in the air, the smokers were rolling and the 50 teams all were able to get turn in’s done and on time!  Well done teams!

    It was great catching up with old friends and meeting some new friends this weekend.  The social scene was a little off because of the cold weather, but everyone seemed happy to be back out on the BBQ trail again in 2017.  I know that the consensus among the teams that I spoke to was a resounding yes to a 2nd Annual Throwdown in 2018!

    Congrats to Luke and Kim Darnell from Old Virginia Smoke on the Grand Championship and to Chiles Cridlin and the Wolf’s Revenge team on the Reserve Grand!   OVS took home top Chicken honors with a 180 score, Beer Meets Grill brought home the big Ribs trophy, Wolf’s Revenge tore up pork with a perfect 180 and Lo’ & Slo’ won the Brisket category.  A shout out goes to all of the teams that were called and we are looking forward to Urbanna, Virginia and BBQ Gives Back for the next stop on the Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association schedule!

    First place winners:
    Chicken – Old Virginia Smoke (perfect 180!)
    Ribs –Beer Meets Grill
    Pork –Wolf’s Revenge (perfect 180!)
    Brisket –Lo ‘N’ Slo BBQ

    Grand Champion –Old Virginia Smoke
    Reserve Grand Champion –Wolf’s Revenge

    Check out the full competition results here.