Blazing barbecue weekend

Published 7:30 pm Monday, June 11, 2012

Ameris Mosley and Tralonna Becerra, both of Greenville, S.C., enjoy a turn on one of the many rides available for kids to enjoy both Friday and Saturday at the Blue Ridge Barbecue and Music Festival. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

“We ran out of food but what that did was send people to our other area restaurants – the economic impact I believe was realized by our local businesses. Plus, these people do come back to our area. So, we’re feeling extremely good about the turnout.”
Britton said he was again especially grateful for volunteers this year.
“Our volunteers – you can’t say enough about those people that came out here to help. We had more than 400 volunteers taking care of each and every little aspect,” he said.
And while organizers and vendors reveled in record numbers, this year’s festival couldn’t have ended better for Bobby Roberts and David Mauro either.
The barbecuing fanatics – one of Two Old Men and a Grill from Cherryville, N.C. and the other behind The Blue Bloods barbecue team from Hammond, La. – first met at a competition in Pensacola, Fla. While there the two men and their wives discovered a kinship in firing up their smokers side by side.
This year the two won side by side, grabbing Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion titles, respectively.
“That man is the reason I’m doing what I’m doing, so to get this with him is amazing,” Mauro said of his barbecuing mentor, Roberts. “It’s like I told ya – this man taught me everything I know. My recipes are his recipes just with my own twists put on them.”
He’s following a good example; Roberts’ win here in Tryon marked his fourth Grand Champion title in five months.
“This feels fantastic – it’s (the Grand Champion win) just as good as the first one,” Roberts said.
Two Old Guys and a Grill also captured the Governor’s Cup, the State of North Carolina championship. Roberts knows how to get it done, but he said it isn’t rocket science.
“We make it taste like meat,” Roberts said. “When you start out doing this you want to throw everything on it, but then you learn to scale it back.”
Snagging the overall win came about from consistently placing in the top 10 in all four categories – third in chicken, sixth in brisket and ribs, and 10th in pork.
Other category winners included: Too Bad You’re My Cousin – Anything But; Carolina Barbecue Company – Dessert; Oink, Cackle and Moo II – Whole Hog; The Blue Bloods – Chicken; Redneck Scientific – Pork Ribs; Bubba’s Backyard – Pork; and Polk County Barbecuers – Brisket.
Others may not have faired as well in competition, but they come year after year to bask in a weekend of their favorite hobby and for the camaraderie they’ve forged with other cookers, organizers and judges.
“This is my 19th year. I feel bad for Carl Wharton so I keep coming back here to help out,” Donnie Weddington of Oink, Cackle and Moo Two joked.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox