news - BBQ News 2005
Pasadena, CA
December 29-30, 2005

QN4U at the Rose BowlIt seemed like we haven't cooked in a long time. It has been about 2 months since our "world tour", but two months felt like "Do I remember how to do this?"

This year the Rose Bowl cook-off was stacking up to be a really good contest with some real competitive teams. All we need now is good weather, last years weather was a nightmare. (See story Rose Bowl 2004, A River Runs Through It.)

As we arrived they had us in a holding pattern to get set up. Seems they did not have enough space to put in all of the teams that had shown up for this BBQ extravaganza! I am glad to see we are getting a lot more teams turning out for these cook-offs. It does make for good times and I think it elevates the level of cooking as well.

Anyway, they did get all of us packed into some close quarters. You needed to be extra nice to your neighbors since we were in such close proximity. We had some great neighbors.

David Klose's PitWe had Pam Gram on one side of us – cooking on David Klose new ultra pit! You have to see this one it had everything. You name it and Dave had it, gold plated, sort of a David Klose bling bling BBQ. Check it out at David's website David is one of bbq's greatest ambassadors, known for building the greatest bbq pits you can imagine and imagine is the keyword. He has built some of the most unusual and most recognized pit in the world. We really enjoyed getting to spend time with him at the Rose Bowl and appreciate him coming to California to unveil his pit. The crowd really enjoyed it and it got me thinking about what I could do to my pit.

We had Big O's BBQ and Joey Sutphen of Texas Thunder packed in with us as well. Anytime you can get next to Mary and Al, let me tell you! If you play your cards right you will be eating like a king. They probably have the best munchies at a cook-off. They always have some fantastic recipe they are working on. – I try to get a position near them. Alan had his Dutch oven and made his famous Armadillos with Chile Verde. – It was outrageous!!!

Joey and BrentAlso got to spend some time getting to know Joey Sutphen. He is a legend on the BBQ circuit with his famous Six Guns BBQ's and his Tenny Lamas (boot and tennis shoe combination). Boy, it is guys like him that make bbq so much fun.

We also had Ken Hunting of Gourmet Grill out of Arizona within arms reach of us, literally. Like I said we were arranged in an intimate setting.

That night as we starting getting things prepared it all started coming back to me. Yeah, I can do this, get back into the groove. We had a couple of new little adjustment to make and hope they would help us and not hinder the effect. It seems like the pressure to win gets stronger each time we cook. Others expect us to do well but mostly, I expect it. Winning is always the most fun and I really love to do this!

We had two items we thought were really good. The chicken and the pork. We really struggled with the brisket and the ribs were good but we have done better. Sometimes I swear it seems like the food just fights back and will not end up as you planned or as it usually does. I guess that is why cooking is so difficult. Things just taste different or cook different than usual. Even if you do it exactly the same. BBQ is definitely an art.

I have to say that the BBQ gods smiled on us at this one as we ended up with a repeat Grand Championship at the Rose Bowl 2005. It was exciting to say the least. Each time we have a win is like the first time, it is hard to explain, but you put so much of yourself into this endeavor there is a lot of satisfaction when the judging goes your way.