news - BBQ News 2006
Lynchburg, TN
October 2006

Getting our second bite at the big apple. Winning at Boulder City, Nevada this year gave us an automatic into the Jack Daniels World Championship since it was the only qualifier in Nevada. That made it nice as we could plan things in advance.

Kenny and BrentMy plan was to cook in the whole hog category and forego the brisket category as only approximately 10 teams enter the hog category and the judges seem to be more liberal with the points to the hog cookers. So I figured that would work to my advantage. I started to make calls to set things up and first on my list was Kenny Kernop of Crimson Hogs out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I knew that he had the type of cooker that I needed to carry out my well crafted plan.

I could envision the trophy already! Kenny said that I could use his equipment and was "All Jacked Up" at the prospect of going to the Jack to help me with what ever I needed. Turns out that Kenny is what we call a "BBQ Barbie", that bitch has everything! Whatever I asked for, he had two of them or had it in every color and size. Believe me this made our trip to the Jack real easy. Although, Kenny ended up with a new nickname, Kenny, the BBQ Barbie of Bama!

We even started raising a pig (Little Myron) to use at the contest. Everything was perfect. So I thought! Some time in August I read that they (THE JACK) were eliminating the whole hog category and we had to turn in both white and dark meat in the chicken category. What's going on here?! For 17 years you have a hog category and this year I plan on doing whole hog and you drop the category. It's a conspiracy, I swear! So much for the well laid plans of mice and men. I went to plan B and back to the brisket but had to figure out how to do the chicken.

We flew into Birmingham, Alabama where Kenny picked us up and headed back to his house in Tuscaloosa. The following morning we headed out on our 3 hour drive to Lynchburg, TN where the Jack is held. On our way we pass through Decatur which means we had to stop at one of the best BBQ restaurants in the country, Big Bob Gibson's for lunch.

Don Bean and his wife Stacy traveled with us on our big adventure to Lynchburg. Don works for SaveMart Supermarket, one of our sponsors here in the Central Valley. They have really jumped in with the BBQ thing in a big way here in California. Our sport needs more companies like SaveMart. We also had a bunch of family meeting us in Lynchburg including my brother Kent, Kim's sister Sandy and her husband Dave who help us at contest throughout the year. Also Kim's other sisters Linda and Vicki.

Our CampsiteWe arrived Wednesday afternoon after a great lunch and a hundred laughs a mile. They gave us the same spot we had last year and even had Dizzy Pigs, the same neighbors as last year. I was really excited about being here again. Maybe because I realize how hard it is to get to cook here among the giants of BBQ. Everyone just jumped in and we had camp set up in no time at all. We decided to do a practice cook on Thursday so I could familiarize myself with Kenny's cooking setup. He has a Jack's Old South Rib Cooker and a JOS Shoulder cooker and a grill for the chicken. The ribs I cooked for practice turned out terrible but the pork was pretty good. Pretty good does not make it at the Jack! With that done I was pretty confident on what and how I needed to change things to turn out a product I was proud of.

Jakkin JackOn Friday we all had lunch at Mary Bobo's. They served in the distillery because the boarding house was being renovated. The atmosphere was not quite the same but the food was as outstanding as ever. Friday was also kind of a free day to wander and take in the town square, meet ands talk to other teams. It was really relaxing. Friday Evening we lined up for the parade and headed up for BBQ Hill for dinner and drinks. It was a blast but not as wild as I remembered it from last year. The Jack was flowing and everyone was having a good time.

After dinner we headed back down the hill to start prepping and getting everything ready. Saturday just feels like a blur, there were so many things to do. I thought everything came out pretty good, the chicken and ribs being the best items.

I cooked beef ribs for the cooks choice and Kim did "bread puddin" that I thought had a chance of winning. In fact she got a note from one of the judges who gave her a perfect score and said it was the best he had ever had and could eat 10 of them. That was like winning to me! The beef ribs were good but lacked a little flavor. I thought they were not the best that I have done, but pretty good. The dessert and beef ribs both came in 14th. That's pretty good considering it is the Jack.

Jack Award AreaOur chicken was the top item of the event coming in at 6th. We were thrilled with a call to the stage. Overall we ended up 11th missing 10th by .0004. of a point. Wow! We were Jacked! So let the celebrations begin, and we did. It felt so good to do so well at the World Championship.

We had some great folks from California show up to hang out. Kelly and Kathleen McIntosh, friends and active members of CBBQA. Kathleen is the editor of "Smokin' Times which appears in the National BBQ News. Ric "Muzzy" Gilbert of Ric's Righteous Ribs who carved the most popular pumpkin ever. Many people stopped by to have their picture taken with the "Yakking Jack" It was a riot. Also Pat Brandon was there to take pictures for evidence. Frank Boyer and Burbank Bad Boys were also there.

Sunday morning we packed up, slowly. No on was feeling spunky as the celebration went well into the night. We hit the road back to Kenny's and arrived early evening for a good night sleep before flying home on Monday.

FOOTNOTE: During the time of planning our big trip to the Jack, Kenny's beautiful wife Janice was diagnosed with cancer and battled this awful disease with grace and dignity. I think Kenny enjoyed the break for a short period even as his heart ached to participate at the Jack. Kim and I are grateful that we had a chance to meet her and spend a little bit of time getting to know her. She touched both of us. Janice succumbed to her disease in December. She will be missed.