We are a little behind with the blog, but quite honestly, even though we did two competitions in June, there isn’t a whole lot to say. In mid June we headed to Frederick, MD for the Swintetastic BBQ festival. We enjoy this competition and have been there to watch it grow all three years that Chris has hosted the event. We had good weather and had a great time as always. We had several friends come by and they got to taste all of our food, which of course they loved, but the judges weren’t all that impressed with what we cooked.
Fortunately we carved out some time in Frederick Friday night to relax and enjoy some good food with good friends. We had talked to Brian, marketing director with our sponsor Dizzy Pig, at their semi-annual Dizzy Fest event a couple weeks prior and we mentioned we had some fresh rockfish to cook up at our house. Brian claimed to make some killer rockfish cakes so we coordinated a Friday night dinner at Swinetastic where he was competing with his team, Brown Liquor BBQ. We provided the fish and Brian came through with some great cooking. The Brown Liquor crew are great hosts and certainly a fun group of guys. Maybe we should have enjoyed Friday night a little more and just headed home because we certainly didn’t impress anyone with our finish of 14th out of 63 overall. Our chicken came in way lower than we were hoping at 39th. There’s a common concept on the BBQ circuit that whatever category you think is your worst usually does the best, and we proved that by getting 5th in ribs. This was truly a shock to both of us. Pork has been strong for us this year, but it was only strong enough for 23rd. Brisket did not do much better with 21st. We certainly could have done worse than 14th, but we left Frederick knowing we didn’t perform like we are capable of, and wanted to completely redeem ourselves in Palmyra, VA.
The following week we pulled into Palmyra, VA for the BBQ Bands and Brews competition. John did a great job of putting this second year event together with 25 teams competing. We had not been to this part of Virginia and the landscape really is beautiful … this is a competition that has potential to grow and we hope we are able to return next year. This was a special weekend for us as it was our anniversary and luckily I was able to find a company that was willing to deliver flowers right to the PepperMonkey camp. Just minutes after they were delivered, we were reminded of just how nice the people we compete with are when Theresa and her husband from Bellwood BBQ came over with a bottle of champagne and some chocolate pigs to congratulate us on our anniversary. I should add, we had NEVER MET Bellwood BBQ in person and were only familiar with them through the BBQ Brethren forum. What nice folks. We repaid the gift by making them mimosas Saturday morning.
As far as the BBQ, we did hear our name a couple of times at awards, and barely finished top ten overall at 9th place. Our chicken did not do well, 20th. For some reason it came out a bit more spicy than it has during other cooks and that did not get us points. Ribs were 15th and that’s probably where they belonged. Our big meats got us the calls with a 10th place pork and a 2nd place brisket. We started slow with brisket this year, and have since reverted to the recipe that was successful for us last year and low and behold we got second place. We will see if this category can stay strong for the remainder of the season.
We are now on a break for a few weeks catching up on some things around the house and getting a head start on some custom BBQ awards we are making for some friends. Our next stop is the Que and Cruz in Louisa, VA. So many teams tell us what a great event this is, it’ll be our first time there and we are really looking forward to it. And yes, we are really hoping for a strong finish, even if it means we get a little wet ! (That will be explained in the Louisa post in a couple of weeks).