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Blues & BBQ

by Dana ‘Big Papa’ Hillis

Swamp Boys scored the first-ever perfect score in the FBA with a 200 in Ribs at the “Coweta Up In Smoke Barbecue Cook-off” Oct. 16 in Newnan, Ga. This led to the highest-ever score in the FBA with a 771.51664!

A few other teams got in on the high-scoring act, with Uncle Kenny’s earning the highest score of the year in pork (198.333) and Git R Smoked scoring a (197.8833) in chicken. Damon Wooley and Wooley Bully BBQ Mafia also had a perfect score (200) in brisket.

Swamp Boy won the Grand, with Uncle Kenny’s taking Reserve Grand.

At the Oct. 23 “Harmony Harvest Festival & BBQ Cookoff” in Harmony, Fla., Big Papa’s Country Kitchen took Grand and GB’s BBQ won Reserve.

The same day at the “Georgia-Florida Tailgate Bar-B-Que Cookoff” in Jesup, Ga., U Rub Me Raw took the Grand, with Joe from Bethel Smokers taking Reserve honors.

The first-ever “Smokin’ In The Swamp” contest, Oct. 30 in Okeechobee, saw “old school BBQ” come out on top, as Jady Hill and the infamous Florida Boys took home the Grand Champion trophy. Forrest’s Fine Foods tightened up the FBA’s “Team-of-the-Year” race with a Reserve Grand finish.

Waycross, Ga., the new home of “The National BBQ Festival,” proved to be great surroundings for one of the best contests in the country. Kell Phelps and the National BBQ News put on a contest that will be hard to match. Despite strong winds that created some havoc, the contest was perfect.

Pig Racing (plastic pigs were given to everyone that walked through the gate) took place every half hour down the man-made Phelps River, and the winner of each heat got a $50 gas card. All the heat winners competed in a final race on Saturday, and the winner went home with a beautiful grill!

Forrest’s Fine Foods had a near-perfect cook, taking 2nd in ribs, pork and brisket to win Grand in the Invitational. DW’s Country Cookers took home Reserve honors. In the “Open” the next day Big Papa’s won the Grand with GB’s taking Reserve Grand. Gnat Daddy’s took home 3rd in his first-ever trip to The National BBQ Festival, and LJ’s Cooking won a bell on their first trip.

The Nov. 13 “Bartow Bluegrass & BBQ” contest saw a lot of teams battle for BBQ bragging rights in a cool downtown setting, before Whiskey Bent won Grand and Big Bad Wolf took Reserve. Porker Face BBQ had a great showing in a tough crowd, taking 4th. Dana Pasquis did a great job moving this contest downtown and keeping everyone happy.

(story continued below)

Recipes

Big Papa’s BBQ & Blues Pork Loin

Ingredients:

• 3- to 5-pound pork loin

• 1 McCormick’s herb marinade

• 1 can smoked oysters

• 1 bundle fresh spinach

• Pork seasoning

• 1 package fresh mushrooms

• 1 package dried cherries

• 1 small jar pickled jalapenos

Cooking Instructions:

Filet loin into big pancake. Lay mushrooms, jalapenos and oysters down the middle; spread out so you can roll up loin. Season well with pork rub, lay spinach on heavily, roll up loin and tie with butcher’s string.

Cut several little notches and stick dried cherries into the slots, then put loin in foil pan. Mix herb marinade, use it to cover loin and put in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Cook in smoker at 275 degrees until internal temp is 135. Cover with foil and cook to 145 - 150 degrees. Slice and enjoy. See everyone at a contest soon. Bless our Troops!

FBA Triple Crown in Perry, Florida Dec. 10-11

I hope to see everyone in Perry, Florida on Dec. 10-11 for the 3rd Annual Southern Pines Blues & BBQ Festival, which has become one of the best events on the schedule. Perry is home to the “Triple Crown Invitational,” “Triple Crown Open,” “John Boy & Billy Sauce Contest,” a “Kids’ BBQ” contest and full schedule of great blues music, so there will be activities for the whole family. The music has been fantastic the last two years. I can’t wait to hear the talent this year.

Dawn Taylor, executive director of the Perry-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce, works very hard on this event, and it’s a great one to attend or compete in. The Open contest is available for anyone to compete, and there is a “Backyard BBQ” contest for amateur teams to compete for cash and prizes.

The John Boy & Billy Sauce Contest will award a signed guitar to the winner and trophies to 2nd and 3rd. There is also a “Hot Stuff” division that earns a trophy and braggin’ rights for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place winners.

The Triple Crown Invitational features the top 10 competition BBQ teams from Georgia, Alabama and Florida, including some of the best BBQ teams in the country. The event also features a new “Kids Que” competition that allows the younger generation to show off their BBQ skills and win great prizes. Ages 6-13 will compete in hamburgers and chicken (1st-5th), while ages 14-17 will grill off with pork chops and chicken.

Visit the Southern Pines Blues and BBQ website (www.southernpinesblues.com) for all the details.

Jim Hunt of Fiddler’s Restaurant in Steinhatchee will host a dinner for all the teams at his camp. Several teams will end up making something to bring and share, so we will have a meal fit for kings and queens. Forrest and Munchees always perform some food magic, along with several others. If Jim “Gnat Daddy” Hunt is involved, I can’t wait to sample the goods.

Make this a stop on your schedule. A good time will be had by all and I’ll see you in Perry.