BBQ Tour Stop #2: Springfield, MOApril 28, 2010
Springfield, Missouri was the site of the second stop for the BBQ Tour. Springfield is our hometown so this is also one of the only opportunities that we have to compete along with doing the tour.
We loaded into the event early on Wednesday after doing a retail stop in front of Bass Pro Shop. Springfield is where Bass Pro originated and is the home of the Granddaddy of all the Bass Pro Shops. This is also where the Rock’n Ribs event is held. This was the 11th year for Rock’n Ribs, which is organized by the local Rotary clubs and has raised over $700,000 so far for Children’s Charities of the Ozarks.
Thursday is when some teams load in early so the event site is bustling with activity with tents being set up, teams loading in and there’s excitement in the air. The weatherman had forecasted chances of rain through Friday so we knew we had a 50/50 shot of a great weekend.
Our cooking team, “Here Piggy Piggy BBQ”, was right next to the Springfield Cardinal’s cooking booth. The Springfield Cardinals are the local minor league team and part of the St. Louis Cardinal organization. I couldn’t sleep through the night so I enjoyed the witty banter of the guys manning the overnight shift.
Saturday was a beautiful day as the coffee guys and Krispy Kreme folks made morning deliveries to all the teams. The Catering Creations/DeLong Plumbing team even fixed sausage, egg and cheese croissants for teams along with fresh chocolate chip cookies. As people trickled into the event the teams were busy preparing their turn-ins. After the final category turn-in at 1 pm, People’s Choice sampling started and we did our demonstration at 2 pm. Redwood Creek Wine is a new tour partner so we prepared a wine and honey-glaze peach dessert recipe that was created by Chef Steven Raichlen, especially for Redwood Creek.
People’s Choice at Rock’n Ribs is quite an event. The event gives the teams thousands of pounds of meat to prepare for judging by the public. It is almost like one big line of people going from booth to booth sampling small cups of BBQ and then voting on which team they liked the best. For the third year in a row, Hog Tide Bar-B-Que won People’s Choice. We were set up across from PK’s Party Pit, Holla N Swalla, Hogzilla and one of the most animated teams within my eyesight – Pig Pimpin’! These teams really brought an excitement to our little area of the BBQ event!
At the end of the day, Belly Brothers BBQ Team got Top 5 calls in all four categories and was awarded the Grand Champion Elvis Pig trophy. They also cooked on Kingsford and registered online prior to the event so they walked away with a huge Kingsford check and an extra $1,000 in their pocket!
Chris and I were lucky to have help from the Smell My Pits BBQ Team from Kansas City, which includes Kelly and Dawn from KCBS along with their husbands Brad and Keith and families. Brad and Keith ran our people’s choice sampling, shredded a cooker full of pork butts and watched over ribs that were prepared for the evening’s 417 Magazine’s Championship dinner. We get to return the favor and assist them in June at an event in McLouth, KS.
Mike (& Chris) Peters