Comments Off on Almost Heaven BBQ Bash Weston, WV – June 16-17
By LaRee Fink, Pitmaster – House of Smoke BBQ
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was an open and functioning state hospital from 1858 until 1994.
In 2017, it became home to the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash We couldn’t think of a more fitting place for BBQ folks then a Mental Hospital.
Hats off to Jody Light, who always puts on a top notch event. This year was no different. The sites were beautiful with lots of shade trees. There were multiple activities for teams when not cooking, such as asylum tours and Zombie paint ball.
The competition was fierce as well, with 60 teams from all over the country vying for the grand championship and automatic birth in the Jack Daniels World BBQ Championship.
Congratulations to the winners:
GC: Rocky Top Barbecue
RGC: Wolf’s Revenge BBQ
Chicken: Who Cares BBQ
Ribs:Rocky Top Barbecue
Pork: Smoke Central BBQ
Brisket: Game On BBQ
by Stephanie West, “The Neck” Pitmaster with 270 SMOKERS
Fifty-six pro BBQ teams arrived in Shelby for the 25th Annual (and final…) Hog Happnin’. That’s right, Jerry & Joyce have decided to go out on a high note, while the Hog Happnin’ event has emerged to be one of North Carolina (and MABA-land) favorites! This year’s event was a true celebration of their team’s tremendous work to raise over $250,000 for the local children’s home charity. (Please note, if you’d like to purchase a commemorative item, contact the Hog Happnin’ organization thru their Facebook page – they recently published a cookbook ($12) and also have sweatshirts, pins, hats, etc. – all proceeds go to the children’s home.)
One of the more popular activities during Hog Happnin’ is the Simply Samplin’ competition where participating teams engage with the judges on Friday evening for on-site judging of their desserts, gumbo/stew, seafood, pizza, vegetables, and meat. Whew! This year, the crowd favorite proved to be 7-year old Kenzie Fink of team House of Smoke who captured 1st Place in Dessert with her Salted Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes! She is now completely hooked on competitive cooking and will surely become a staple on the ancillary circuit!
Grand Champion: Rocky Top Barbecue
Reserve GC: Sauced! Barbecue Team (who also won People’s Choice Pork!)
1st Place Chicken: Wolf’s Revenge
1st Place Ribs: Rocky Top Barbeque
1st Place Pork: Smoking Butt Heads
1st Place Brisket: Sauced! Barbecue Team
Comments Off on Mountain High BBQ Festival & Car Show Franklin, NC
By Stephanie West, MABA Vice-President and “The Neck” Pitmaster for Team 270 Smokers
Thirty-four pro and 12 backyard teams vied for ~$12K in cash at the 9th annual Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show in Franklin, NC. The competition was held at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center, with 46 teams nestled on the grass between the livestock arenas. (Likely rather unsettling for the cows who were snuggled in their pens just 25 yards or so from the smokers! Rest assured, they were all safe and accounted as we departed on Sunday morning!)
This was one of the stronger showings for a dual pro/backyard event in the MABA region, and it was heartening to see the enthusiasm and talent of these backyard teams – many of whom also participated in the 3 ancillary events! The Franklin Chamber of Commerce aptly rewarded with huge trophies for the Backyard competitors, along with ample cash. For those who heard their name called, they are now certainly hooked on our sport of competitive BBQ! Grand Champion of the Backyard contest was Sunnyside Smoke, a protégé of Two Old Men & A Grill. RGC was The Smokin Hot Reps, in their very first contest as cooks rather than as KCBS Reps! Julie & Rusty Cook, Doug Reid, Tom & Angela Morris, and Wayne & Rachel Harper have a new appreciation of the work involved “on the other side of the table”!
Franklin’s reputation along with the promise of cooler mountain air lured teams from near and far, including the host and two of the featured teams from the latest BBQ TV series “Smoked”. In parallel, the Chamber hosted a competitive Car Show and a fundraiser – teams provided pulled pork for the Tasting Tent that raised $1,000. The hospitality was excellent, electric and water lines were plentiful, indoor bathrooms & a shower were provided, and rarely did more than 10 minutes pass without a volunteer asking if we needed anything. Garbage bags barely had a chance to touch the grass before a volunteer was there to pick them up. Overall, we’d definitely recommend Franklin on your “to do” list.
First place winners:
Chicken –Hickory Prime
Ribs –Rocky Top Barbecue
Pork –Midnight Burn
Brisket –270 Smokers
Grand Champion –Hickory Prime
Reserve Grand Champion –Midnight Burn