Cool Smoke grand champions at BBQ festival

Published 2:56 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2008

As festival goers and cooking teams gathered at Harmon Field in Tryon to hear the awards for the 15th Annual Blue Ridge BBQ Festival, it was a time of reflection.

Jim &dquo;Trim&dquo; Tabb, the festival&squo;s founder, was honored along with others who have been associated with the festival for all of its 15 years of existence. Volunteers and committee members Bill Crowell and Kirt Flynn were honored, as well as Carolyn Wells of KCBS and the two teams that have competed in all 15 years, Kings Cooking and Oink, Cackle and Moo.

But the big winner on Saturday was team Cool Smoke, of Richmond, Virginia, which was named the grand champion of this year&squo;s festival.

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Last year, Cool Smoke won the KCBS National Championship. This is only the team&squo;s fourth year on the circuit, team leader Tuffy Stone said.

Cool Smoke didn&squo;t get a call in its first two years at the Tryon contest, which is also the official N.C. State Barbecue Championship.

Last year, Stone and company finished fifth overall in the festival.

Flanked by his son, Sam, his dad, George and his friend Kendall Lamp, Stone said he was totally happy after his team won its first award in Tryon.

&dquo;We&squo;re overwhelmed,&dquo; he said. &dquo;For as long as we&squo;ve been cooking, we&squo;ve considered this event one of the crown jewels of the barbecue circuit.&dquo;

See page 6 for the complete results from last weekend&squo;s contest.