Category Archives: Just For Fun

The Fan’s Guide to the Jack: What you Need to Know

So is this your first time to go to the Jack?  It’s mine too!  I’m seriously going to be like a kid at Christmas when I arrive.  I have had this date circled on my calendar for quite some time now.  Again, another big huge shout-out to my friend Jay Prince for allowing me to tag along on this trip.

There is a great article by Rod Gray of Pellet Envy talking about the must-do things for a first-time competitor at the Jack.  But what about the fan attending for the first time?  What should he or she do?  Well I’ve asked Rod to provide his insight, and he has gladly done so!

Free Samples!!

A unique thing about the Jack is that teams are asked to pass out samples of their turn-in meat to the public.  If they do not, a Jack Daniels representative will visit the team’s site to collect the leftover meat to distribute to volunteers.  This presents a unique opportunity for the public to sample competition quality barbecue.  But, please, be courteous.  If you aren’t completely stuffed on samples, some of the best barbecue vendors in the country are available to serve some downright tasty food.  If you leave the Jack hungry, it’s your own fault!

Judging Insight

Another unique aspect of this competition is that all of the judging takes place in an open air pavilion complete with bleacher seating for spectators.  This allows the public to get a glimpse of how the judging process works and sneak peeks at the ways that teams present their entries.  It gets especially entertaining during the dessert turn-in, with multitudes of elaborately created desserts.  Often international teams will decorate their entries to represent their countries, giving this contest a level of opulence and flair rarely seen at a barbecue competition!

See the Square

The focus is on the contest and the barbecue.  However, don’t forget to check out the town square.  Located just a stone’s throw from the competition, the square includes the Lynchburg Hardware Store.  Anything Jack related can be found in this two-story shop of logo’d goodies!

Do the Tour

Get over to the visitor’s center and sign up to take a tour of the distillery.  You’ll be glad you did.  If at all possible, request a gentleman named David Roper (lovingly known as Porky to his friends) to be your tour guide.  While his tours may be longer, they are also the most entertaining.  Unfortunately, the Jack Daniels distillery is located in a dry county.  So the only thing you’ll be tasting at the end of the tour is some homemade lemonade.

Don’t Stress the Crowds

Everyone in the area understands the magnitude of this event.  Luckily shuttles are organized to transport you from the high school and other large lots on the town edges into the heart of Lynchburg, TN.

Huge THanks

I want to give a big thank you to Rod Gray of Pellet Envy who passed this information on to me.  As many of you know, Pellet Envy is one of the premier teams on the competition BBQ circuit.  They have amassed over 60 grand championships, been a top nationally ranked team for the last eight years, and have participated in the Jack five times since the team’s inception in 2001.

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Contest Bites: KLB “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce Giveaway

This evening, I came across a tweet in my Twitter feed from Kevin Bobo of KLB’s BBQ Sauce promoting a giveaway of his “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce!  I was lucky enough to win a bottle in his last giveaway, and I wanted to let you know about this one.

"That's Good Mustard"

"That's Good Mustard"

Now I have not tried the sauce yet, but it is on my immediate “must try” list as soon as I get the opportunity.  I’ve also read nothing but good things about the sauce, as you can see from my good friend Wilfred Reinke’s review of the sauce.

So how do you enter?  It’s super simple.  Just go the Facebook page for KLBFoods LLC, the company behind KLB’s BBQ Sauce, and click the “Like” button at the top of the page.  Yep, it’s that easy.  One winner will be chosen at random to receive a free 17 oz. bottle of his sauce.

Let Kevin know that Big Wayner sent you.  Good luck!!

Going to the Jack? Let’s talk…

Did your competition BBQ team get picked to compete at the Jack Daniels World Championship this year?  Are you good friends with a team that is going?  I’d love to hear from you!

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to do a series of blog posts featuring different teams that will be competing in Lynchburg, Tennessee.  This is your chance to brag about your team.  Whether you want to talk about your team’s great history, talk about how hard all of your team members work, talk about all the grand championships you’ve won, or talk about just how plain awesome you are, this is your chance to shine!!

If you are interested in featuring your team in this blog series, please contact me as soon as possible!  You can email me by going to the Contact page on this blog, or you can email me directly at bigwaynerbbq@gmail.com.

Mmmmm chili cook-off…

Earlier this week, my good friend Cyndi Allison of Yes You Can Grill asked me if I would be willing to be a judge this weekend for a chili cook-off.  Of course!  I would be more than happy to do so.  Nevermind that I had never ever judged a chili contest in my life.  I figured my experience as a BBQ judge would benefit me in how I approach this.

The contest was this past Saturday (October 1st) at the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business at Catawba College.  A total of 14 teams participated in 2 different divisions, with the top 3 teams in each division receiving trophies.  There was also a People’s Choice aspect to the contest, with the winner receiving a quesadilla maker and an engraved platter.

I had a great time here at the event.  The event organizers did a wonderful job with managing this inaugural event.  We judges (all three of us) were all presented with some tasty chili to taste and definitely left with a full stomach.  I was very honored to be asked to participate in this inaugural event and would be honored to do so again next year.

Below are some photos from the event.  Some of the photos are courtesy of Cyndi Allison.  Enjoy!!

Best Of: Pigskin Edition

Fall has arrived!  Cooler temperatures are here, but that doesn’t mean the end of BBQ for this year.  In fact, it continues on stronger.  Here are some tidbits to keep you occupied while you cheer your team on to victory!

  • Southern Soul Barbeque is teaming up with Kevin’s BBQ Joints to give three lucky winners a four-pack of their small batch craft BBQ sauce.  Contest information can be found here.
  • Check out this tasty sounding recipe for Smoked Mac ‘n Cheese published on BBQ Smoker Site, courtesy of Hanneke Eerden of The Dutchess Cooks!
  • With the weather cooling off, chili is becoming the meal of choice.  Check out this chili recipe published courtesy of Lea Richards of Pig of the Month BBQ.
  • Here’s an article about the Biker, Blues, & BBQ Festival as well as a recap of the contest written by Cyndi Allison.
Enjoy!  Let me know if I missed something noteworthy that should go on here.

A Couple of Contests…

We’ve all made it halfway through the week!  WOOHOO!!  To help you get through the rest of the week, here’s the scoop on some contests currently going on…

  • Kevin’s BBQ Joints has partnered up with Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simon’s Island, GA to give away three sets of their BBQ sauces to celebrate their release to market!  You can enter this giveaway here.
  • Wanted to try Pig of the Month BBQ but haven’t had a chance?  There is currently a giveaway going on right now on Susan’s Disney Family.
  • And, as always, BBQ Sauce Reviews has their Free Sauce Friday’s.  This week the giveaway will feature Oregon Dan’s BBQ Sauce.  Visit Brian’s site at http://www.bbqsaucereviews.com on Friday for details!
Let me know if I missed your contest, and I’ll gladly add it!

Pay No Attention to This Blog Post

I’m just testing something out for work…  don’t mind me.  Wheeeee!!!!!  As my thanks for reading this, here’s some food porn.

Large pulled BBQ plate

Large pulled BBQ plate

Disney Food Porn Part 2 — Be Jealous

My wife and I arrived back home to the Carolinas from a 9 day stay at Walt Disney World.  One of our splurges for this trip was dinner at Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  If you are ever considering dinner here, I highly encourage you to do so!  It is not only exquisite food, it is the ultimate dining experience.

So I’ve decided to share some more food photos with you from our trip to Disney.  These first three pictures were from other Disney dining destinations.

Tanzanian chocolate crème brûlée from California Grill

Tanzanian chocolate crème brûlée from California Grill

Fisherman's Stew from Kouzzina

Fisherman's Stew from Kouzzina

Cast Iron Seared Veal Tenderloin from California Grill

Cast Iron Seared Veal Tenderloin from California Grill

The pictures below are from our meal at Victoria & Albert’s.  Enjoy!

Amuse-bouche

Amuse-bouche

Applewood-smoked Buffalo "Waldorf"

Applewood-smoked Buffalo "Waldorf"

Roasted Alaskan Sablefish with Arugula Pudding

Roasted Alaskan Sablefish with Arugula Pudding

Roasted Quail with Asian Pears and Serrano Ham Jus

Roasted Quail with Asian Pears and Serrano Ham Jus

Australian Kobe-style Beef Tenderloin

Australian Kobe-style Beef Tenderloin

Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Ice Cream

Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Ice Cream

Food Porn from Walt Disney World

This week has been a hectic week… funny how that happens on vacation!  But it’s inevitable whenever you’re at the “Happiest Place on Earth” — Walt Disney World!

One of the things my wife and I look forward to on our trips to Disney is the food.  Formerly an afterthought, the cuisine at Walt Disney World is now on par with many of the top dining destinations in the Orlando area.  Here is a very small sampling of some of the food that we have eaten so far here this week.

Enjoy!

Bacon Cheeseburger & Fries from Beaches and Cream

Bacon Cheeseburger & Fries from Beaches and Cream

"No Way Jose" Sundae from Beaches and Cream

"No Way Jose" Sundae from Beaches and Cream

Maple Crème brûlée from Le Cellier Steakhouse

Maple Crème brûlée from Le Cellier Steakhouse

 

Remnants of a "Bumblebee" (half Guinness, half Boddington's)

Remnants of a "Bumblebee" (half Guinness, half Boddington's)

Spicy Kazan Roll from California Grill

Spicy Kazan Roll from California Grill

Cast-Iron Seared Bison Tenderloin from California Grill

Cast-Iron Seared Bison Tenderloin from California Grill

Mixed Grill from Raglan Road Irish Pub

Mixed Grill from Raglan Road Irish Pub

Shrimp Po-Boy from Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

Shrimp Po-Boy from Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

Big on the Pig at Time Warner Cable BBQ and Blues

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This past weekend, Charlotte rolled out the welcome mat to some of the top Memphis Barbecue Network teams in the country for Time Warner Cable BBQ and Blues.  This will mostly be a picture montage.  If you want to see more photos from the event (as well as possibly a recap from a judge’s perspective), go visit the blog of my friend Steve Gibbs at http://q4fun.blogspot.com.

Thursday during lunch rewarded the first 300 people to the Wells Fargo Atrium during lunch (of which I was one of the first 300) with free BBQ from one of 2 Charlotte-area vendors — Mac’s Speed Shop and Rock Store Bar-B-Q.  Everyone there was also treated to a concert and gumbo courtesy of Bill Wharton, better known as the Sauce Boss.

The event itself started on Friday.  Teams loaded in Friday morning, and the venue was opened to the public Friday afternoon.  I took off immediately after work to get a decent parking place.  The layout of the venue had the competing teams (both in the professional and backyard divisions) situated caddy-cornered from the vending areas and other attractions.

Since I was only able to attend on Friday, I decided to go around and take a few photos.  (The gallery will contain some of the photos already shown above)

Results from the competition can be found at http://www.charlottebbqandblues.com/competitions/2011-team-placements/.  The results only show the top 5 for each of the professional categories and the top 3 for each category in the backyard division.