Chilebrown at home

Sunday, July 21, 2019


This weekend was like any other bbq weekend. There was an exception. Ms. Goofy was out of town on a sister retreat and we did not sign up to judge any bbq this weekend. You know, I just could not stay away. I went solo and visited the Dixon Grillin & Chillin, Car and Truck show. This is a yearly event that brings out the locals for a fun filled day in downtown Dixon California. Dixon is a rural town that still has a small town feel. It made for a great day to have a bbq contest and fun event.

There just so happened to be a small farmers market held in the middle of the event. This was a great place to pick up some vegetables, flowers or bbq sauce to bring home.

Today the bbq contest was ribs only. I do not know the particulars because I was only an observer. I noticed a couple of familiar teams and our friends Jack & Gina from Big Shot bbq team were there. I also notice some pretty enthusiastic backyard teams testing their mettle.

This one team Los Borrachos Cochinos. (translates to The Drunk Kitchen) were having a lot fun. They were passing out free samples of 'Burnt Ends' made with pork belly. Oh, my! They were a treat. Imagine very tender smoky sweet bacon cubes that melt in your mouth to experience these treats.

I was not judging today so I needed a snack. "Good Ol Boys Rolled Tacos" looked popular, so I decided to give it a try. This was a hamburger filling rolled up in a flour tortilla and deep fried. It was served fresh out of the fryer. It had just the right amount of hot grease and salt to make an appetizing little snack.

We had a car show today and it was huge. A lot of chrome polish was used today. The sun was bright and hot to make these vintage and custom cars shine.

This was a festival that had something for everyone. Music, food, beverages, pony rides and vendors selling all sorts of Knick Knacks. I did not judge today but had a good time. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Barbeque competitors have a need to participate in culinary contests. A lot of bbq competitors compete in other food related challenges such as chili and Mac & Cheese. Today we are in Oakland California observing two barbeque friends, Ben & Joe, competing in a Mac & Cheese contest at the restaurant Homeroom.This was a small contest but when a trophy, cash and bragging rights the stakes are high. Let's take a look. 

 Homeroom is a very popular restaurant whose specialty is Mac & Cheese. It also happens to be the beginning of Mac & Cheese week. (I did not now there was a Mac & Cheese week). The judging would be held on the sidewalk outside of the Homeroom restaurant. Space was tight and one had to be creative on cooking ones entry. Ben & Joe got to the event early and grabbed two coveted parking spots a block away. They parked a trailer that they normally use in barbeque competition. This trailer is a complete kitchen. They were prepared.

Ben & Joe made an entry that was very unique. It had white cheddar and other cheeses sauce with a smattering of tiny cubes of jalapeno mixed throughout. It was garnished with a chile oil , fried sage, and fresh jalapeno slivers. This was served in an edible bowl of crisp Parmesan cheese. It was delicious . This entry was served piping hot because it was made right there. This definitely was  a game changer.  It also caught the judges attention and won first place.

Congratulations to Ben & Joe. This was a contest the fell outside the blue box. It was a lot of fun.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


The Clayton BBQ Cook-Off rolled into town bigger and better than previous years. Each year more teams participate in this local bbq competition. Thirty one professional teams and 22 Backyard teams made this a full house at this popular event. The Professionals cook four meats consisting of; chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket. The Backyard division competes with ribs and chicken. The Backyard division is a great way to show off your skills and get a lot of pointers from the pros. We were here to judge.

It was warm today with the thermometer most likely in the low nineties. We as judges were sequesters in an air conditioned room. Oh the sacrifices we make. The warmth did not stop the public from enjoying plenty of liquid libations and award winning barbeque. While the lip smacking rib eating public were enjoying food and refreshments they could listen to live music or stroll the main street and browse the local vendors.

This booth below was manned by our friends and fellow judges Tracy Allen and Scott Simpson. They were Ambassadors for the KCBS and CBBQA. The later is a California based bbq society. This was a popular booth becasuse everybody wants to be a judge. We can concur because we love to judge. Congratulations to Big Poppa Smokers for winning the Grand Championship for the Professional division. Congratulations to Smoke it Like It's Hot for winning the Backyard division. What a great day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


This is just a little wrap up from my recent trip to New Mexico. A reacquiring food item in most local restaurants was fry bread and green chile. Fry bread is a leavan bread which is deep fried. Fresh out of the fryer is is almost irresistible. I even bought a fry bread apple pie from a young street vendor.

One unusual stop was Speedy's Truck Stop. Our host swore they had the most delicious Navajo burgers. Let me tell you this; you did not leave hungry after this monstrosity. It was a half pound of very well done hamburger meat. It had a layer of very tasty green chile which was probably the highlight of this creation. Do not get me wrong, fry bread is tasty but it can wear on you after a couple of helpings.

Our last stop was the El Rancho hotel. It is a famous landmark on the old Route 66, It claims to be a stop of the movie stars. It definitely had a lot of character and was a fun place to visit. The theme of green chile popped up again with my steak and enchiladas. I really do like green chile.

I have had my fill of fry bread. I can never get enough of green chile though. My visit to New Mexico was tasty and filling. I would love to return some day.

Sunday, July 7, 2019


This 4th of July Weekend we were in Harmony California for the Smoke and Hops bbq and beer festival. This was a first time festival that literally shakes rattled and rolled. The night before a 7.1 magnitude earthquake took us for a ride. Luckily there was no major damage and the bbq competitors cooked on. Harmony California is located in central California and at one time used to be a hippie commune.The only information I had heard about Harmony was from a Huell Howser episode. 

 Twenty seven competition bbq teams did battle today. There were a lot of heavy hitters for this first time competition. We had a nice judging tent which had its own air conditioned trailer ed rest rooms. The women judges were very pleased.

Lot's of local micro-beers were poured today. The public was able to purchase bbq from one lone vendor. The judges were included today too. We had the opportunity to sample beers and were all given a case of Chihuahua beer to take home. Unfortunately I missed the home made ice cream vendor. Harmony is known for its artist glass blowers and pottery makers. There were a couple of shops to browse these treasures.

The weather was perfect for this coastal town. The sun broke through and the temperatures rose and possibly broke the seventies. All in all it was a very fun day.for everyone.

Congratulations to Big Poppa Smokers for winning the Grand Championship. This was a first time event and we hope for its future success. We leave you with a quote from the late great Huell Howser; "That's Amazing"