Here we are at the ‘Bay Area BBQ Championship and Ms. Goofy and I have traded in our judges badges for an apron and a chef jacket. This weekend we joined the team of ‘Butcher’s Daughter’ a professional competition BBQ team. Donna Fong is the captain of this boat and we were going to be her assistants. We are on a mission to become ‘KCBS Master Judges’. One of the requirements to achieve this goal is to cook with a team. Donna was very gracious to become our sponsor. Little did she know what was in store? We arrived Friday afternoon to help set up our cooking area. Before we knew it we ended up on a panel to sample, taste and rate 10 different barbeque sauces. This was the beginning of a wild and fun ride at the Bay Area BBQ Championship.
After wiping all the barbeque sauce off of our faces we met with Donna. Donna has a game plan that is very organized. We had a chart with the different meat categories, times and procedures. Donna explained what she expected of us. One of the first duties is to prepare your meats for the cooker. This was a hands on classroom that was fascinating to us. The early evening approached and my first duty was to light the fire. I was able to accomplish my first task.
It is now Saturday and several meats are almost done. We prepped the chicken and ribs for a morning cook. Our first turn in of chicken is at and every half hour after that we will turn in another meat for judging. Timing is very critical to have your meats cooked to perfection in these time frames. We turned, basted, and foiled our meats. We tasted and adjusted seasonings. We kept to Donna’s plan as well as we could. There are always variables in any contest.
It is and our chicken is done, dressed and boxed for judging. Somebody needs to be a ‘runner’. This person will take the entry and walk it to the turn in area. Yours truly would tackle this assignment. I have never been so nervous. One slip, jostle or heaven forbid a fall would be disaster. On my journey my thoughts went like this; “Pick up your feet, Look out for that person on the left, Watch your step,” I made it and was relieved.
We finished our cook and turned in all our entries. We were exhausted. It was several hours to the award ceremony. During our wait we reflected on our efforts. Was the chicken overcooked? Did we use the right seasoning for the ribs? Was the brisket too salty? The wait was nerve wracking. The award ceremony began and the chicken category winners were announced. We kept listening for Butchers Daughter name to be announced. Would we even place? Would we take the walk? They announced second place and only first was left. “‘Butcher’s Daughter’ first place chicken”, shouted the announcer. I lost my breath. We were going to take the walk. Grins ear to ear showed our joy. We still had three categories to go.
Tenth place ribs, seventh place pork, second place brisket, we took the walk four times. WOW! All that was left was the announcement of the overall winner, the Grand Champion. Yes, you guessed it, Butcher’s Daughter Grand Champion. We hugged, wept, jumped for joy and took that coveted walk. Donna, her daughter and Mother, Ms. Goofy and I walked to the stage and accepted the award. What a day!!!!!!!!!!
I am sorry that pictures of our food entries could not be shared but Donna has her secrets safe with us. Thankyou Donna for letting us cook with you and creating a day we will remember forever.