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BBQ Tour Stop #23 - 26th International Bar-B-Que Cookoff

October 14, 2009
Chris and I headed to Traders Village in Grand Prairie Texas for the 26th International IBCA Bar-B-Que Cookoff, which hosts one of the largest flea markets that we have ever visited. In talking with Allan, Traders Village General Manager, I thought the grounds had started out as a military establishment but he told me that the facility was started as a flea market. Traders Village incorporates other festivals and events (cookoffs, Indian pow-wow’s, rodeos and even NASCAR) to supplement the flea market trade.

On the way in, we stopped at Lonestar BBQ, a local distributor of the Good-One Smoker/Grills that we use on the tour. The guys at Lonestar were great. They even brought the full line of Smoker/Grills to the cookoff and set up right beside our tour trailer.

The cookoff was held on Saturday and Sunday, with Saturday having an ObieCue backyard chicken cookoff that raised money for kids in the area. Obie has a booth at Traders Village and has been selling spices on the grounds for the past 25 years and supplies championship spices to many of the top BBQ teams. Saturday was also turn-in day for the rib category so Sunday would just be chicken and brisket in able to have awards at 4pm.

On Sunday before our grilling demonstration, we had a couple of very interesting visitors. Amy, with Traders Village, brought over two Kenyan Warriors with a television crew for National Geographic’s filming “Warrior Road Trip (aka, Two Kenyon Guys).” The Kenyans only eat beef so we sampled out our Weber Chicago Steak for our new friends, who also judged the brisket category. I don’t know about the brisket, but they came back for seconds and thirds of our Chicago steak!

As we walked through the cooking teams, there were a handful of teams that we had met at KCBS events and festivals in the past. We saw Don and Sharon of Smokers Wild, Donnie of Buffalo’s BBQ and the Shivers, who we first met in Indio at the Stagecoach festival. One surprising cook was Joey of Joey’s Texas Thunder, who vended at the Columbus and Sparks events that we attended. I think he did OK at the cookoff, considering he didn’t have to use garnish in the IBCA boxes. We also ran into Jamie Geer with Jambo pits. He was set up on “Jambo” row with five to six other teams using his high end beautiful customized cooking units.

Chris was giving our neighbor Andreas some grief about him not getting to bed until 1am. She thought he had been out partying on a Saturday night. It wasn’t until he brought my custom branded leather apron that he admitted what he had been doing at 1am. He pulled out a second apron that had a minor typo that he gave to Chris, who is now the BQQ – Barbie Q Queen.

Going into the weekend, the weather forecast was clear and beautiful but we had to break out the jackets on Friday and Saturday night and rain gear on Sunday. Sunday morning we were met with drizzle that broke in the early afternoon. That is until about 5pm when the dam broke and the sky opened up. Luckily, we had most of the trailer packed up. Unfortunately, most of the vendors were still selling and had to load up in the downpour. While the cold and rain dampened the crowds, we still had great attendance at our demonstrations and Grill Master competition.

Mike (& Chris) Peters
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