Monday, June 16, 2014
KING OF THE COUNTY BBQ & MUSIC CHALLENGE
Welcome to the sleepy town of Martinez California. Martinez is the location of the 'King of the County BBQ & Music Festival'. This local event was held over this 'Fathers Day' weekend. The festival hosted two separate 'Backyard' bbq competitions. A backyard competition is usually a smaller competition that only features several meats verses a KCBS competition that features the four meats of; ribs chicken, pork and brisket. It is Sunday. Ms. Goofy and I are here to judge three categories of chicken, pork ribs and a category called 'Chef's Choice' We will talk more about 'Chef's Choice' in a second.
The contest was held in beautiful waterfront park in Martinez. This is a mulit-use park that is spectacular. There is a marina for fishing and boat launching. There are plenty of picnic areas and grassy fields for all sorts of activities. Bocci Ball courts get some serious use here. We saw a league competition going on. I have no idea how they play but they sure looked like they were having fun.
Live music from several bands entertained this festive Fathers Day crowd. People strolled the numerous craft booths set up near the stage. BBQ was sold by several vendors. Our friend Dave Tendick from Smokehouse 10 had a booth selling his scrumptious food. I was disappointed he was not selling his pecan pie. It probably was for the better because I needed plenty of room to score and sample the bbq to come.
The bbq competitors were spread out over a eucalyptus tree lined area. They had plenty of room in their campsite like settings. These bbq warriors did not have fancy polished professional style bbq rigs. We did see a lot of Webers and offset smokers. Fancy equipment does not guarantee good bbq. It was Ms.Goofy and my job to judge these tasty offerings.
We scored the ribs and chicken and it was time for the 'Chefs Choice'. This was an anything goes type category. This was fun. It was tough deciding our favorite. Warm bread pudding topped with candied bacon tugged at my sweet tooth. Was that better than the bacon/beef slider with a jalapeno popper fries? How about grilled pineapple with pulled pork in the center. Decision, decisions made our job tough.
Judging all this great bbq is such a difficult task. I jest because it does not get any better than this. What a fun and tasty way to spend a Fathers Day afternoon.