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March 24, 2016


Pensacola, FL

March 19, 2016

By Kathy Brazier

I found out for sure this weekend, that you are NOTHING without your friends. Phillip and I headed down to Pensacola on Wednesday night prior to the contest and, on our way, we stopped to have a bite of supper. Less than 3 hours later, Phillip began to feel ill. By Thursday morning, we knew something was really wrong. Long story made short, our rep team of Jim Stancil and us, was down a man, as Phillip came down with a case of food poisoning. Now Jim is a big fellow and quite capable, but he couldn’t do both his and Phillip’s job. Fortunately, Rusty and Julie Cook were scheduled to come to judge, so Rusty got drafted to take Phillip’s place and Julie, always willing to assist, volunteered to help in any way possible.

As has been the norm lately, Thursday, both day and night were wet. Let me correct that, it was WET!!! During our seafood category, teams prepared their entries with their provided, surprise protein, Red Snapper. It a good thing they were given fillets instead of live fish, because the live ones would have been able to swim back out to sea.

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, bringing lots of locals out to enjoy the festival. Don’t know who organizer, Ivan Delebruere, paid off, but it worked. Or knowing Ivan, he would say, thus is the power of prayer!

By awards time, clouds were coming back, so Ivan quickly announced the following winners:

Seafood – The Blue Bloods

Backyard Chicken – Gulf Coast Smoke Show

Backyard Ribs – the 4th Little Pig

Backyard Reserve – RBA-Q-Crew

Backyard Champion – the 4th Little Pig

In the Pro Division:

Chicken – The Specialists

Ribs – Iowa’s Smokey D’s

Pork – Bootyque

Brisket – 2nd place, with a score of 180 – It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere and 1st place, also with a score of 180 – Iowa’s Smokey D’s                        

Reserve Champion – Checkered Pig

Grand Champion – Iowa’s Smokey D’s

If you haven’t seen the awards given at this contest, you have missed a lot. Each category winner receives a hand carved, red cedar, 2 to 4-foot tall, statue, of either a fish (on a stick) for Seafood, colorful parrots for the meat categories and pelicans for Reserve and Grand. Ivan had a new pelican made this year to be given to the team who scored the highest 700-point score. Unfortunately, no one scored 700 points this year, so the new 700-point Pelican trophy has traveled to Lynchburg to visit with the Walrus statue (that Phillip received here last year) until next year when it will go back and hopefully go home with some deserving cook team.

Congratulations to Ivan and, Judge Coordinator, Diane Scott, for another super event. You guys are Great! This contest has truly earned its wonderful reputation.

And I can truthfully say that I would not have made it through the weekend without the support and assistance of my good friends, Jim Stancil and Rusty and Julie Cook. You guys carried me and kept me going. I can’t thank you enough.

Our Best of the Best 700 180 100+