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FACT: Learning from friends, family and at competitions is the best way to improve cooking skills    
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Good Enough to Slap Yo’ Daddy!

August 5, 2009
What do you call two computer geeks with a couple of Weber grills? WINNERS! Harry Soo and Mark Tung of Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ did the impossible over the July 4th weekend. They won all four categories amid 24 teams at the Way Out West State BBQ Championship in Stockton, California.

Winning one of the four KCBS categories is tough, but winning all four has only been done one other time at a KCBS sanctioned event. They accomplished this feat at the end of a three Grand Champion winning streak on the California circuit. In between, Harry and Mark drove to Kansas City and won Reserve Champion at the Great American Barbecue Open in Bonner Springs on May 24th, 2009.

I contacted Harry the week after his big win to get his story. I expected to talk to a larger than life figure that was very proud of his accomplishments. Instead, I ended up finding a very humble and kind man with a bucket list. Harry’s story started with a bucket list that he and his coworkers created after watching the movie The Bucket List staring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. For those of you who are unfamiliar with a bucket list, it is a list of things you would like to do or accomplish before you kick the bucket.

One of the things on Harry’s list was to compete in a barbeque contest. In March of 2008, Harry was able to check this off his bucket list by entering his first contest and placing 1st in chicken and receiving Reserve Champion. The win plunged him into a passionate addiction to barbeque contests.

I asked Harry if he had any advice for those who are thinking about cooking competitively. He said, “Don’t, because once you win, you’ll be hooked and all your time and money will be poured in BBQ contests!” He then laughed and said he was kidding. He believes the best advice he could give would be to “join KCBS and other local barbeque associations to network and learn from others.”

Harry owes most of his journey to a close friend and coworker, Janice. It was Janice who helped him coin the name “Slap Yo’ Daddy.” She told him that in the south we say eating something really good will make you want to slap someone. Harry, being a single dad, decided it would be fitting to call the team “Slap Yo’ Daddy.” It was also Janice who spent countless days tasting and critiquing Harry and Mark’s barbequing attempts. With the help of sponsors, Rock’s BBQ systems and T&H Prime Meats and Sausage, Harry has found the perfect hobby.

Next on Harry’s bucket list is to cook at the Royal and Jack. Something tells me this isn’t the last time we’ll be hearing from Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ. I think they have a huge future ahead of them on the barbeque circuit. Follow Harry’s adventures and progress on his blog at www.SlapYoDaddyBBQ.com.

If you have a story about a great barbeque accomplishment, regardless of when it happened, we want to hear about. Contact Dawn at dendrijaitis@kcbs.us or call the KCBS office.

By Dawn Endrijaitis
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