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April 14, 2016


Hammond, LA

March 26, 2016

by Kathy Brazier

For 13 years, the picturesque city of Hammond, LA, has opened its arms and hearts to the BBQ world. This year, Eric Phares, organizer of the event, along with his hard-working committee, outdid themselves in making this year’s event such a success.

One hundred cooking teams, 58 Pro and 42 Backyard, made their way to Hammond to compete for honors and awards.

The Rep team for the event consisted of Linda Gould, with the much appreciated assistance of her daughter, Roxanne, managing the Backyard side and, for the Pros, Phillip and I were joined by Steve Grinstead. At this point, I am forced to admit that Scott was quite handy, reminding all of us that while we were working, he was most definitely not. Thanks, Scott!

As anyone who has ever attended this event will tell you, the cook’s dinner and breakfast are some of the highlights of the event. Chef Tommy Masarachia and his staff, of Restaurant Tope La, again treated us all to some of the best food on the circuit. Our sincerest thanks to you, Chef Tommy! You did it again!

Backyard teams had the opportunity to participate in a People Choice event, called Tips for Taste, in which monetary votes were cast for the favorite samples. This event brought in almost $8,000.

Our judges got to taste some of the best ‘que’ around and after they finished their evaluations, the following winners were announced:

Backyard Chicken – Ole Joe’s BBQ

Backyard Ribs – Taste-Buds

Sauce – United Rental

Backyard Reserve Champion – United Rental

Backyard Grand Champion – Taste-Buds

In the Pro division:

Chicken – Serial Griller

Ribs – Bootyque

Pork – Give it to God

Brisket – 2nd place, with a score of 180 – Getting’ Basted and

                 1st place, also with a score of 180 – Serial Griller

Reserve Champion – Smoke This

Grand Champion – Serial Griller

Like many of the contests today, the proceeds for this event are earmarked for local charities. The charities that are benefitting from this year’s event are TARC, Special Olympics-LA and 8 other smaller, local charities. Eric and his crew are pleased to announce that over $40,000 has been raised for these deserving organizations.

Phillip and I extend our thanks to all the crew who made our visit to Hammond so memorable and to Steve for all your patience in working with us.

Hammond is a special place and this contest is one that you don’t want to miss; but they are land-locked so they can’t grow any larger than they are right now. So get your name in early so you won’t miss this one next year.

Our Best of the Best 700 180 100+