2011 BBQ festival cookers

Published 4:29 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

The following short “bios” will introduce the competitors at this year’s Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival. This is not all-inclusive, as some teams will enter the contest at the last minute.
Adam’s Rib – From Strawberry Plains, Tenn., this team is making its second appearance at Tryon under the leadership of Adam Burnett. Out of 11 starts, they racked up eight top 10 finishes in 2010, including ninth overall here at the festival.
A Taste of Carolina  – New to Tryon last year, this team blew in here and won the governor’s trophy. And they finished third overall. They’re out of Alexis, N.C., and are led by Howard Wooten Jr.
B4BBQ- This is a hometown team back for their fifth time at the festival. They call themselves the “Tenders of the Ugly Pig.” They just started a few years ago and came away with a top 10 finish in pork at Maggie Valley in their first year.
Baloney Joe’s BBQ – This team, led by Arnie Howard, is making their first appearance in Tryon this year. They started competing in 2006 and, this year in Lexington, they finished in the top 20 and had a fourth in pork.
Bayou Porker Smokers – This team, from Denver, N.C., were new to Tryon last year. Al Johnson and Allen Rainwater just started as a team in 2009 and already this year they have a sixth place overall at Kings Mountain, N.C.
BBQ Freaks – This team, new to the festival, should take the prize for distance traveled to get here. They hail from San Juan, Puerto Rico and are led by Yolanda Bolivar.
Big Mo from AHO BBQ’N Outlaws – This team from Blowing Rock, N.C., have been cooking since 2004. Last year they had three top 10 finishes in 14 contests, and those that included a big grand championship at Lincolnton, third overall at Johnson City and seventh in Edenton. They last appeared here in 2009.
Blindogs Outlaw BBQ Gang – From Huntsville, Ala., this crowd pleaser is led by Drew “Blindog” Grega, who formerly cooked with Oink, Cackle and Moo in the ’90s. The gang finished in the top 10 overall here in 2008 and placed first in chicken in 2007.
Blind Pig Sugar Shackers – Blind Pig Records, home of music that “sticks to your ribs,” and recording artist Damon Fowler, who will be on the main stage Saturday at 4 p.m., are teaming up as The Blind Pig Sugar Shackers. Music producer Scott Cable has been named team captain.Local resident George Baston is responsible for getting this going.
B.S. Pitmeister – This team was grand champion in Tryon in 1999, 2001 and 2002 and reserve grand champion here in 2006 and 2007. Last year out of seven contests entered, they had seven top 15 finishes. The team is led by Charles Fretwell out of Boiling Springs, S.C.
Bub-Ba-Q – This team from Jasper, Ga., was Tryon’s last year’s 2010 and 1008 reserve grand champion. They finished fourth here last year. Led by Bubba Lattimer, the team is in their fifth year of competition. Bubba’s team is also featured on the TLC show “Pitmasters.” Bubba and wife Shannon just won the first ever Kingsford Cup (and $20,000) on the new CBS show “Ultimate BBQ Showdown” on May 28.
Bubba’s Backyard BBQ- This team from Alexis, N.C., finished eighth overall here last year. Under the leadership of Jerry Burgin, they first came to Tryon in 2007.
Buttrub.Com – Byron Chism and his group from Santa Rosa, Fla., finished 13th overall here last year, sixth in 2009 (with a 1st in brisket) and seventh in 2008. This team has one of the most outstanding records ever set here. In 2007 they were the grand champions, having won firsts in pork ribs, pork and brisket. Plus, they were reserve grand champions here in Tryon in ’03 and ’04.
Carolina Barbecue Company from Hildebran, N.C., is led by Dale Duckworth. They’ll be one of the competing teams that are also selling to the public again this year. Their best finish here in Tryon was sixth overall in 2008. Some of you will remember this team by their previous name, Willy-T’s.
Chatham Artillery BBQ – Tryon’s defending grand champions, this team has won it all for the past two years. Led by Bill Anderson, they’re returning for their third year from Savannah, Ga. In 2010, out of nine contests, they had five grand championships – that’s in addition to the four they won in 2009. Anderson has written a book about how to do it, “Competition BBQ Secrets,” and has followed that up with a set of detailed videos.
Cool Smoke – The 2008 grand champion here and 2010 reserve grand champion, this is also the 2007 KCBS Team of the Year. Out of Richmond, Va., the team is one of the featured teams on The Learning Channel’s (TLC) “BBQ Pitmasters” show, and on Memorial Day Weekend they finished second in CBS’ new show, “Ultimate BBQ Showdown.” Cool Smoke took second place on that new CBS show “Ultimate BBQ Showdown” on May 28.
Craggy Mountain Smokers – All the way from Asheville, N.C., Stuart McManus’ team returns to Tryon.
Creekside Smokers out of Swannanoa, N.C., returns for a fourth try at Tryon, having competed in 2007 and 2008 and 2010. Harvey Lee Hart and his smokin’ crew took first place in pork here last year and second in pork in 2008. They also did well in the Anything But here in 2007.
Crow Creek BBQ was formerly known as Blue Ridge Mountain BBQ. In their fourth year as Crow Creek, the team is led by James Loggin.
Culture on the Cobb – With two Jamaicans, one Navajo Indian, one Viking and one descendent of Israel, Culture brings a whole new definition to barbecue southern style. Led by Rick Ohrstrom out of Tryon, Culture won first place in whole Hog in Tryon and in 2004 took first place in brisket here.
Down Home – Another of this year’s competitors selling to the public and coming to the event all the way from Philadelphia. Team leader is Jack McDavid.
Fast Eddie’s Fine Swine was formed just last year by Eddie Smith and Justin Hembree. The two became friends while students at Appalachian State University. They became interested in honing their cooking skills, often while tailgating. Hembree, by the way, is the town manager of Tryon.
Fire Fighting BBQ Team – New to Tryon, the team is led by Michael Skahill, from Keedysville, Md.
Fire-N-Smoke – Another team new to Tryon. They are led by Bill Sack and hail from Rosman, N.C. In his KCBS BIO, Bill said: “We are a husband and wife team and we enjoy cooking and eating BBQ and meeting people involved in it.
Foothills Mountain Bar-B-Que – This is a local team and another that will be selling to the public. This is their 12th year in Tryon under the leadership of Paul Dale. This team has a reputation for really good chicken – they finished first in chicken here in 2008 and 2009. Foothills won the NC State Poultry Championship in 2000.
Go for Smoke – This is a team new to Tryon. Their leader is Rob Keeney from Huger, S.C.
Governor’s BBQ – This team from Nashville, Tenn., under the direction of Gary Roberts, has won the Tennessee State Championship twice – in 2007 at Clarksville and in 2006 at Cookville. They finished ninth overall here in 2009 (with a second in ribs). They’ll be among the competitors also selling to the public.
Hambones by the Fire comes all the way down from Yorktown, Va. A fairly new team, just started in 2007, but they are doing really well. This year they’ve taken four overall top 10 spots – second at Lakeland, fifth at Los Angeles (Slidell), ninth at Edenton and 10th at Salisbury. In 2010, they were grand champions at Hedgesville, WV, having successfully defended their 2009 title there. Hambones is led by Rick Hamilton.
I Cue – Another newcomer to Tryon. All we know so far is that the leader of this team is Ted Van Duyn, and he is from Asheville.
Kick Back Cove Racing & BBQ – led by C.T. (Red) Boroner. They hail from nearby Inman, S.C. They placed third in chicken here last year and, since 2007, have had 13 top 10 finishes in the four KCBS categories.
Kilby & Co., Kilted BBQ Team, – another team from South Carolina, comes to us from Easley. The team is led by Michael Kilby, obviously of Scottish heritage
Killer Bs BBQ – Welcome to Tryon. Here’s another new team for our contest, from Evans, Ga. (that’s near Augusta).
Kings Cooking – under the leadership of Chip Davis, hails from Shelby, N.C. Their best call this year was at Lexington, where they took first place in ribs. They have been cooking competitively since 1989 and return to Tryon, as they have every year since the festival started.
Lazy Hazy Crazy – Here’s a new team to Tryon, from Tampa, Fla. They are led by Chuck Crouse.
Midnight Burn – All the way from Fenton, Mich., and making their debut at Tryon, this team is led by Kim Hicks.
Motley Que – Under the leadership of Shane Olive, this Que Crew from Fort Lawn, S.C., is making at least its second appearance here at Tryon.
*Mountain View BBQ – is the name of a restaurant in Columbus. Shane Blackwell owns the restaurant and heads the team. You can learn from his website that he uses select pieces of apple wood in his specially designed rotisserie smoker. Mountain View is another of the selling cookers, located on either side of the main stage.
Munchee’s Smokehouse – So far this year in four contests recorded, they have two top 10 finishes – fourth at Charleston and seventh at Columbus, Ga. Last year, they went wild – lots of top 10s, but how about two reserve grand championships: at Lyons, Ga., with a first in pork and a third in chicken and another at Golden City, Mo., with a first in pork, third in chicken and fifth in ribs.
On the Spot BBQ – from Greenwood, S.C., and led by Ronnie Bisho, returns for their third visit to Tryon. Last year they finished 16th here in a very large field of almost 90 cookers.
Pack-A-Smokes – This team returns to Tryon from Johnson City, Tenn., under the leadership of Todd Tucker. They took third in brisket at Sevierville, Tenn. and sixth in pork at Lexington, Ky.
Palmetto Creek BBQ – This team returns to Tryon from Gray Court, S.C. They are led by James Satterwhite.
Piglet Enemy is coming to Tryon for the second time this year. Under the leadership of Jeff Martin, the group is from Moore, S.C., and they finished first in pork last year at Laurens, S.C.
Pigs In Heat – is a sixth-year Tryon contestant out of Toccoa, Ga. They seem to do best here in the whole hog competition – they were second in 2008 and third in 2009. Last year, they placed fourth in the Friday evening dessert competition. John Childers leads this team.
Pit Bulls Up in Smoke – Welcome another new team coming up to Tryon from Kennesaw, Ga. They are led by Danny Coogle. So far this year they’ve entered four contest and finished in the top 10 in three of them, including two reserve grand championships (Young Harris, Ga., and Columbus, Ga.), and eighth overall at Rome, Ga.
PITDOG BBQ – comes to us again this year from Asheville. They are former North Carolina Champions, having won the Governor’s Cup here in 2007. That year they took a third in chicken and a seventh in pork. Under Andrew Cage, this team has been cooking for 10 years.
Pork Tenders -from just up the road in Fletcher, is led by Ron Raiola. This will be their fifth appearance at Tryon.
Que’n, Stew’n & Brew’n – A big Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival welcome to this team, new to Tryon, coming from Kennesaw, Ga., and led by Scott Smith. Smith said he just started cooking in 2009, but last year he amassed 17 Top 10 finishes including a grand championship at Dalton, Ga.; and so far this year he’s won the grand championship at Pelahatchie, Miss. and third place overall in three other contests.
Queology – This is a new team just started in 2010 under the leadership of Russ Cornette from Summerville, S.C., but they’re doing well. That first year they had four starts and three top 10 finishes. They took sixth at North Augusta, S.C., with a second in pork; sixth at Myrtle Beach, S.C., with a third in ribs and a seventh in brisket; and eighth at Laurens, S.C., with a third in pork. So far in 2011, they’ve placed eighth at Charleston, S.C., with a second in pork.
Raw Talent – From Tega Cay, S.C., this team led by Gary Kunes doesn’t seem to enter a lot of contests, but in their only appearance here at Tryon in 2009 they took third overall with a fourth in brisket, eighth in pork and ninth in chicken.
Razorbacks – from Spartanburg, S.C., are competing here for the second time this year. They are led by Stan Wilson.
Sauced BBQ – is coming to Tryon for the second time this year. They’re all the way from Mount Holly, N.C., and 2009 was their rookie year. Scott and Joline Adams wrote in the KCBS cooker bio, “We have been cooking ‘que for a little while now and are ready to take it on the road to see how we stack up against the pros.” In 2010 they earned Reserve Grand Champion status at King’s Mountain and finished sixth at Lincolnton with a first in brisket.
Smoke This BBQ – led by Scott Jarrett, was a newcomer to Tryon last year – all the way from Hickory, N.C. Last year they had four top 10 overall finishes including, most notably, the grand championship at Edenton, where they took first place in three categories – chicken, pork and brisket, and fourth place in ribs. They had three top 10s overall in 2009.
Smokin B’s – The Smokin B’s BBQ team is making their first appearance in Tryon.
Smoky Mountain Smokers – come from Sevierville, Tenn., and cook under the leadership of Joe Amore. And do they have a record! In 2009, they entered 28 sanctioned contests and finished in the top 10 in 22 of them, including three grand championships (College Grove, Tenn., Lawrenceburg, Tenn. and Clarksville, Tenn.) and two reserve grand championships (Springfield, Ky., and Kuttawa, Ky.). In 2010, out of 13 starts they nabbed seventh top 10 finishes, including seventh here at Tryon. So far this year they’ve only competed in one contest (Sevierville, Tenn.) but, you guessed it, another grand championship.
St Louis Pit Que – This team is making a first appearance here in Tryon.
Sue E. Pigg – from Clemson, S.C. has been competing for a number of years, and this is their eighth year at Tryon. So far this year they finished ninth at Kings Mountain with a first in ribs, and last year they finished third in Laurens with firsts in ribs and brisket. Their name comes from “Big Sue” who is the tall, skinny, Yankee wife of chief cook, Steve Wainscott. Team members are an unsavory group of underworked, overpaid, over-the-hill Clemson professors known as “Radio” Rick, “Swabby” Joe and “Dead Eye” Dewey. Their BBQ style is an aromatic mix of mustard, vinegar and several secret ingredients. Their choice of wood includes oak, pecan and apple for flavor. Steve Wainscott and his fellow professors at Clemson U. offer a scholarly approach to BBQ competition.
Swine-O – Another new team, led by Harold Maass, this time from right here in Tryon.
Tarheel Smokers – under Roy Murray have been cooking since 2002. Hailing from Herford, N.C., this team has two grand championships under its belt this year – Rome, Ga., and at Kings Mountain, N.C. In 2010, they had two reserve grand championships, at Lakeland, Fla., and at Franklin, N.C., along with five other overall top 10 finishes. They were the first place winners in Tryon’s first Friday night dessert competition in 2009.
Texas Rib Rangers – from Denton, Texas has been winning awards all over the country for 20 plus years. They were the 1998 grand champion with a first in ribs at Tryon and placed first here in last year in whole hog (with a fifth in Friday night’s dessert contest). Led by Bill Milroy and his wife Barbara, this team is one of the selling vendors. Bill spends more time at various BBQ events than any other competitor and has developed a strong following throughout the country. He said his biggest wins have been the American Royal “Best on the Planet” (four times), The Great American BBQ Championship “Grand Champion BBQ Baste (twice) and Jack Daniels World BBQ Championship perfect 180 in sauce.
Texas Young Guns – is a sixth-year team competitor out of Pasadena, Texas. They bring with them a fist full of awards from the Lone State of Texas. In 2009, they took first place in our Anything But contest and finished fifth in brisket. In 2007, they placed second here in Anything But and had a 10th place in pork. They were the grand champions in 2005 at the Texas State Championship and have won awards in brisket, chicken, dessert, beans ribs, cobbler and an assortment of other categories. Team captain Doug Lonidier describes his team as “just two good ole boys from Texas trying to cook some good BBQ, meet good people, and make new friends wherever we go.”
Three Blind Hogs – Tiger O’Rounke is bringing this team, new to our cook-off, all the way from Greenville, S.C.
Too Bad You’re My Cousin – This team doesn’t seem to compete much, but they keep coming back to Tryon. The team is led by Denny Hudson.
Two Old Men & a Grill – Started in 2007, this team hails from Bessemer City, N.C. They seem to be burning it up this year. So far, with seven starts they have four Top 10 finishes, including a grand championship at Lexington and a reserve grand championship at Waynesboro, Ga. Their best finish here was in 2009 when they were the 10th top scorer with top 10s in chicken, ribs and whole hog. Bobby Roberts long with his wife Belinda head up this bunch of “old men.”
Uncle Mac’s BBQ Crue – Here come some more newcomers to Tryon. They are led by Jeffrey DelMastro and come from Charlotte, N.C.
Up In Smoke – comes to Tryon again as a sixth year team just to have fun. Out of Greenville, S.C., under the leadership of Joe Ervin, they’re still working on their first award. Joe uses all types of sauces and cooks on a home-designed cooker and is experimenting with different woods.
Wicked Que – From Watkinsville, Ga., this team is under the leadership of Jeff Campbell, and they’re making their first appearance here in Tryon. They seem to have some pretty good credits – already this year they’ve scored a perfect 180 in brisket at Kings Mountain. They had two Grand Championships in Georgia last year, one at Winder and the other at Young Harris – where they had a perfect 180 in chicken. Their team slogan is “Live fast, smoke slow!”
Windstream Green Smokers – are back again. They are old friends of the festival.
Wood Chicks BBQ – This team out of Chesapeake, Va., is led by Lee Ann Whippen and will be cooking this year with her sister Diane. Both ladies are daughters of Jim Tabb, the founder of the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival. Lee Ann started the Wood Chick’s BBQ team in 2002 and has since won a number of championships – including right here at Tryon where she took it all in 2004. Also to her credit are the 2009 Virginia State Championship and the 2010 Maryland State Reserve Grand Championship. Lee Ann’s awards and her showmanship have resulted in appearances on the “Today Show,” Travel Channel, 700 Club, Food Network, “People Magazine,” “ESPN Magazine” and Chesapeake’s local WAVY TV, “Joel Rubin Show,” The Virginia Pilot, VERSUS Network on the National BBQ Championship Series, and most recently on Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” – Wood Chicks won best pork barbecue. She has also been featured on the TLC docu-series “BBQ Pitmasters.”

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