Sunday, June 12, 2016
VAN RUITEN BBQ COOK-OFF
The barbeque season is starting to warm up. Ms. Goofy and I donned our shiny judges badges and participated in the Van Ruiten BBQ Cook Off. This is a very fun event that screams California lifestyle. What better place to have a competition but in a vineyard and family owned Van Ruiten winery in Lodi California. The weather was very pleasant with the temperature hovering in the high 70's with a slight breeze. Let me tell you though, it got very hot in the judging area because we got to sample and score some of the best bbq around. We would like to share a couple of images with you.
The band provided a festive atmosphere to the strolling wine and bbq fueled public. There were plenty of cool and shady areas to sit and enjoy ones food & drink. The public purchased tasting tickets to redeem for bbq samples. In the wine barrel filled hallway a silent auction was held. Lot's of local crafts and business had donated prizes to be bid on. All the proceeds of today's silent auction were destined for the 'Autism Speaks foundation'.
This little spaceship looking cooker caught my attention. It is missing the center cooking chamber and is a Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker. We saw many varieties of cookers today with no particular model dominating the cooking field. Whatever the competitors used they were professionals. This was proven in the competition. The categories today were pork ribs, tri-tip (This is California and tri-tip is king) and a 'Mystery Meat' which was pork loin. We saw some creative entries in the Mystery Meat category. One was a bacon wrapped, cream cheese & spinach filled pork loin. They had me at bacon. What a treat for the judges.
What a great day for bbq and wine. The Van Ruiten' family owned winery was the perfect venue for a fun filled event. This was a barbeque competition but we were all winners today including The 'Autism Speaks Foundation' who will receive the proceeds from the silent auction. Our friends Gina and Jack from the team 'Big Shot BBQ' were the official 'Grand Champions' on this special day. Congratulations to everyone.