We're Backkkk.....

Back in 2009, we launched this blog to chronicle our initial journey the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue Competition - aka "The Jack.". Billed as the "World Championship of Barbecue", this epicurean "Superbowl" is held in the sleepy little hollow of Lynchburg, TN (pop.361) the 4th Saturday in October each year. It just so happens that Lynchburg is also home to the world renowned Jack Daniels distillery - the primary sponsor and namesake behind this culinary extravaganza.

Each year, tens of thousands of competition BBQ teams from across the United States (and around the world) spend countless hours and weekends competing in sanctioned BBQ events. These teams vie not only for Grand Championships & serious prize money (sometimes as much as $100K) - but perhaps even more importantly, they are all hoping by the end of the "BBQ season" to grab one of the 60 highly coveted spots to cook against an elite group of teams for the title of "world's best" (the "Jack" is by invitation only).

We competed in the 2009 Jack, and finished in the "middle of the pack" - an accomplishment we were certainly proud of. And after more or less taking the year off in 2010, "Hoochie-Que" is ramping up to make another run at a coveted invitation to the Jack in 2011.

So, after over a year of "neglect", we are "dusting off" this little ol' blog to once again share with family, friends, and other BBQ cooks/fans our experiences as we start our journey hopefully towards another invitation to the "Jack" in October 2011.

Also - and especially if you are new to this blog - make certain to read back through the "Blog Archive" to re-visit our experiences and trip to the Jack back in 2009! Some pretty good writing, memories & photos if I do say so myself!

Thanks - and we hope to see you in Lynchburg on October!

"Hoochie"
March 26, 2011

Friday, November 06, 2009

It's A Wrap, Jack...


It is just about time to wrap up this "thread" regarding our trip to "The Jack" this year... WOW - as I look back at our posts on this blog, what an tremendous experience my family & I have been living!! This has truly been "da bomb" (according to Reid & Caleigh)...

We have had such a good time with this that we have decided we will keep this blog going... Mostly BBQ in nature, but not too "serious" in content... So make certain to mark this blog... With "BBQ season" basically winding down for us now until next March, there may not always be as much "excitement" as there has been as of late... But around the "Hoochie House", things are rarely dull...

In a nutshell, it was a fantastic journey that we will never forget... I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I hope we get the opportunity to go back someday... I feel there was some "unfinished business" we left on the table in Lynchburg that we would someday like to go back and "clean up"...

But I'd also hope other BBQ cooks from our area of the country also get the chance to go someday as well... To our knowledge, we were the very first team to ever represent Utah at "The Jack" in the 21 years of it's existence... And we want to see that continue... Competition BBQ is relatively new in this area of the world - and in 4 short years, we are already developing the kind of talent in this area that can compete at this level... And I don't think it will be very long at all before we see a team out of this area that will be a legitimate "big dog" in competition BBQ...


I'd also be lying if I didn't admit that I felt we had done much better than our scores reflected... And that we were disappointed that we didn't bring home any "hardware" this time around... We truly felt we had cooked "lights out"... In looking at our scores, at least there was consolation in the fact that we really did impress 4-5 of the 6 judges in each of 4 meat categories... And impressed them enough to see a slew of "8's" and "9's" from them (a "9" is the highest score possible)... But there was always at least 1 judge we just didn't impress enough... I am certain that when you are judging 60 of the better/best teams in the country that it is tough - and perhaps even "little things" become "bigger things" - and/or the subjective aspect (i.e., personal taste preference) of BBQ judging comes a little more into play... If you get to go to The Jack and hope to take a "walk" on the stage, you most definitely have to learn how to "please all of the people all of the time..." We are most definitely up for that challenge... (Click on the image of our brisket turn-in for a better close-up view...)

In closing, we were proud to represent the state of Utah at The Jack this year... There was definitely some "luck" in getting invited - but we feel it also took a little more than just "luck" for us to have gotten there, too... We want to thank so many of you who have wished us well and/or who have supported us with your emails and phone calls over the past few weeks... We also want to thank so many of you who have been following our blog who actually stopped by at The Jack to say "Hi" and wish us well... I have a debt of gratitude as well to my brother-in-law, Guy Davis, who helped me out a lot as I was just learning to BBQ... To Bill Milroy (Texas Rib Rangers), Donny Teal (Buffalo BBQ), and Rod Gray & Johnny Trigg (Pellet Envy & Smokin' Triggers) for all that they have shared/taught me in classes over the past several years... I have truly learned from some of the very best... And especially to my close friend, Ed Roith, for his support and mentoring...

My many thanks also to my BBQ "family" for the warm friendship and camaraderie they continually extend to my family and me... These "wild & crazy" people who have a passion for the "low & slow" come from all walks of life - doctors, lawyers, teachers, truck drivers, nurses, carpenters, computer programmers, you name it... They are great folks - and my "family" continues to grow wherever I go each year...

My special thanks to John Garlinghouse with Seaboard Foods - and to Christy with Paradise Meats in Kansas City - for the championship meats they provided me with this year at The Jack... And to my close friend, Bob Murphy - aka "Souperman" - who has bailed me out more than once this past year with his support and occasional use of his restaurant facilities!

And I can't forget Ori Hoffer with Park City Television, and Ann Johnson with KPCW radio station, for their wonderful interest and local media coverage with or efforts!

And last but not least, my many thanks to my wife, Venssa - to our 3 wonderful children - and to our family/friends/patients in Park City, Salt Lake City, and literally from all over the world - that have somehow come to see me as a "champ" of sorts...

A man could not be any more fortunate than I have found myself to be!...

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