I have been asked many time, “how did you get involved with BBQ?” I don’t know if it is how, as much as why… Some folks are just born with BBQ in their blood, their family has being cooking Q for generations. Others get involved with the socializing aspect of BBQ, just hanging out with some buddies and figure, “let’s take this party on the road”. Still others, like myself, start off in the backyard with the family, and with the encouragement of friends and family decide to enter a competition, and get totally sweep up in the excitement of competition BBQ.
No matter how we got involved with competition BBQ, I think we all have a couple of things in common, we all enjoy the spirit of competition, we all love cooking BBQ (kinda tired of eating BBQ though lol) and we all have, what I call a need to roam. I can only speak for myself of course, but I have a family and my regular job that keeps me very busy, and I have to find time to “schedule” BBQ into my life. I am very lucky, as I have a very understanding and supportive family, and they allow me time to engage in my favorite hobby, but after a while the backyard becomes very small, and unable to fulfill your BBQ desires. Soon you start to expand your BBQ domain and enter a local competition, that goes well, and if you are very lucky, get the thrill of having your name called during the awards ceremony, now you are hooked.
Willing to travel to compete, your comfort zone just went from your backyard, to city wide, county wide, state wide & and for some folks, nation wide. To me the desire to compete is a big part of doing competitions, but the excitement of traveling to new locations, seeing new things, and of course meeting new people, that is a huge part of the competition BBQ scene. The cooking portion of the competitions is the art of BBQ, but the travel, and meeting folks is the life of BBQ!!!
You know what you are going to cook at each competition, before you get there, but you do not know who you will meet, what your site looks like, exactly what the venue will be like, sometimes these things do not reach our expectations, but for the most part, we are happy with the out come. At times our “regular” lives over run any individuality we may try to express, but getting out on the highway, jumping on that plane or just breaking away from the ordinary routine, helps add some spice to life. For me, change is what keeps my heart beating, helps the blood surging, I love it.
I am waiting, not very patently, mind you, for our next competition. We had a very good time at our last competition, getting calls in Pork, Ribs & Chicken. What fun it is to hear your name called, but I have also had it go the other way, no calls at all, what a bummer that is, but then you start to think of the great time you had there, the hard work you put into it, the money you paid………yep, even more of a bummer!!! lol Kidding aside, I do love to hear our name call, but being there and competing on the level that today’s BBQ is at, is really an incredible feat on it’s own. Then getting to meet the fine folks involved with competition BBQ, is always a great thrill. I’m like many, we do a lot of practice cooks at home, between competitions. When I started out, I had my family who were so eager to be my little Ginny-pigs, and try out as much BBQ as I could cook up for them, but now after doing this for almost a year and a half now, it seems like everyone is busy when I want to do a cook. So, I have to hit the streets with my BBQ, getting friends and extended family, that I haven’t “over used” yet, to eat some BBQ. Honestly, my family is always there for me, with open hearts…..and empty stomachs. I would not have even started this team if it was not for y’all, thanks!!! (See what you guys started?)