Thursday, August 31, 2006

Extreme BBQ

Wow !! That's all I can say. This is not your typical bbq competition. You guys are not gonna be dissapointed with this show. I don't know how much footage will end up on the cutting room floor but there's gonna be plenty of good stuff to keep.

Before each battle the three competing teams are told two of the three categories they will be competing in. The third category is a mystery. It's the third category that's really going to test the skill of the cooks. It's pretty wild.

That's a wrap

The first episode is in the can. Two teams have been eliminated from the competition. I can't say who won and who lost and I can't post any action shots from the set. Sorry I wish I could.

There was some controversy today but it was handled and it didn't effect the outcome of the c ompetition. We're going to go watch the first turn in for episode two and get some sleep so we'll be on top of our game tomorrow.

This is not KCBS my friends

The judges have tasted the first entry. They didn't take just one bite, they made a meal of it. No water and saltines, just a choice of water, red wine or white wine. The cooks had to explain their entry to the judges before the tasting began and they had to answer any questions that the judges asked. There isn't a ziplock bag or a cooler in sight. These judges mean business.

The Games People Play

That schedule change I mentioned. Well that might not be true. We got the info from another competitor and failed to verify it. It doesn't really effect us since we're not cooking until Friday but we did want to witness the first competition.

Paybacks a you know what.........

The Schedule

Remember what I said about schedule changes ? Well the 8:00 am start for today has been moved to 2:45pm. It's gonna be a late night.

I wanna give a shout out to all the fine folks that have left comments on the blog. Thanks for all the well wishes and encouragement. It means allot.

I also want to wish Laura McDavid a happy 16th birthday.


The end of a long day

Well we ended up not being in the practice cook which was actually a good thing. We got to watch the whole thing from the sidelines and I think it was a good way to see it from the audiences perspective as well as the judges perspective. I think this years judges are going to be a real fun group of people. They seemed to interact well together as well as with the teams cooking in the contest. It's gonna be way different from last year and I think it will be enjoyable to watch.

It's interesting to see how the cooks and the tv crew react. Individual personalities become very apparent in situations where everything doesn't run completely smooth. Some people go with the flow and others tend to blow up at people that don't have anything to do with the problems they are experiencing. We all know that championship bbq cooks are pretty much type A personalities.

It's late good night

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Competitor Line-up

Printed with permission of the executive producer

Mike Davis
Hilard Pouncy
Joe Davidson

Byron Chism
James Britt
Adam Perry Lang

Johnny Trigg
Ladder 55
Mike Wosniak

Bart Clark
Emma Feigenbaum
Ernie Mellor

Ray Lampe
Wood Chicks
Fast Eddie

Myron Mixon
Sara Horowitz
Jack McDavid

Live from the set

If you ever do a tv show and they give you a schedule to follow, take it and throw it in the trash. The schedule is bound to change 15 times within a 1 hour period. I'm hanging here with Dizzy Pig, the Guru Guys, The green egg people, Mike from backwoods, Fast Eddy is within view, Jack McDavid, Some folks from the buttrub team.

Our latest schedule puts us on stage at 7:00pm tonight doing the practice shoot. Supposedly there are 18 camera crews here to shoot the show and I'm told that's more cameras than they use at the Superbowl.

Well back to hanging out and cooking up some butts and ribs for the crew.

Today the insanity begins

We'll be participating in a practice cook today. We'll be cooking just like we will in the actual competition. This will give the camera crews a chance to perfect all the camera angles and see how the action will flow.

There is a ribfest that attracts 400,000 people in 6 days that is going on right in the square where the show is being filmed. It's going to be packed with people.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Here's a picture of the production staff on the set of the competition. The brackets have been set and all the teams know who they're competing against, what they're cooking in 2 out of the 3 cooks and what cookers they have to use. I'll post the bracket if I get permission from the show. I will tell you that Jack, Jim and I will be cooking against a very successful MIM cook and a wildcard that was on the tv show Hells Kitchen. It's not going to be easy.

Today is the Big Meet and Greet

We're headed down to the filming location to meet with all the cooks competing in the competition. It's going to be a real whose who of BBQ. Mike Davis, Johnny Trigg, Joe Davidson, Myron Mixon, Byron Chism, Ray Lampe, Jack McDavid, and a whole bunch of other bigtime bbq names. It will be exciting just being in the same place with all of these great cooks. Imagine having the opportunity to competes against them. I'm getting real excited and I can't wait for the challenge to begin.

I'll keep you posted and let you know what it's like behind the scenes of the television production. I'm told there are 100 people on the production staff. That's a heck of allot of people to produce just a little old bbq special. The staff members we have met so far have been great and I'm really looking forward to working with them.

Monday, August 28, 2006

We Made it

Well folks here we are. If you've never made the drive across this beautiful country you don't know what your missing. From the plains to the mountains through the dessert and all beneath that big beautiful sky, it's well worth the trip.

We dropped the trailer at the filming site and I think it through them for a bit of a curve ball. There scrambling now to see where they can set it up or whether they'll need to unbolt my cookers from the back. They'll get it done I'm not worried about it.

We're all checked in to our hotel room and it's time for a shower and a nap. We might take a ride to Lake Taho later. We'll see how we feel.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What's a roadtrip without a flat tire

Indiana doesn't like us. We pulled over for our regular 200 mile gas fillup and when I walked to the front of the truck Iheard a hissing sound. My first fear was that we were overheating. It turned out we were leaking air from the tire valve stem. We have a spare no big deal right ? Wrong ! It took us 30 minutes to figure out where the darn Jack and tire iron were hidden in the truck. Then the tire iron won't fit on to remove the aftermarket hub caps so we ripped it off. Finally get the tire changed and go into Hardees for some breakfast. There only serving microwaved burgers so we skipped that. Tried to get and ice cream out of the vending machine. It was out of order. Then we missed the on ramp to I 80. Spent 1/2 hour driving in circles trying to get back to the highway. Chalk it up to lack of sleep.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

On the road Baby !!

Well we took off right after the last turn in and hit the road. Received several phone calls informing me We won New Holland. Woooo Hoooo !!!!! I wish I was there to see my dads face he must have gone nuts. It's a weird feeling winning a contest and not being there to make the walk. That's what we work so hard for.

Jack just had a triple espresso, I think I'm in for the ride of my life !!! 200 miles down 2100 to go. The rain just started to fall and the sun is going down. I'll keep ya posted.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Arrival

We pulled into New Holland around 11:30 a little behind schedule. Driving over to our site we run into the famous or is that infamous Woodoggies. You couldn't ask for a warmer welcome when arriving anywhere here in these United States. A handshake or a quick manly hug just isn't enough for John. He had to plant two sloppy kisses one on each cheek. Ah well it's nice to know your among friends.

The Park is packed this year, they have teams all the way down to the end of the block. Yet it still feels roomy and inviting. Mel was quick to greet us, show us our spot and get the meat inspected. I've already had visits from the Hawgshead team, Crispy Critters, Vinny from the BBQ Brethren and members of the Dizzy Pig team who came with Tequila in hand.

Time to trim the meat. I'll start with brisket. I like to trim allot of fat from my briskets so I have some work to do.

Check back for an update later today.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

5 hours and 250 miles later

Well we made it to our stopping point for tonight. I'm sitting here in a very nice Marriott Courtyard with a marvelous $49 dollar rate thanks to my good friend Doug. It's nice to have friends with connections. I'm in Whippany NJ.

Other then a sensless traffic jam in Bridgeport CT and a wrong turn here in NJ the trip was pretty uneventful. We made it out of the Boston area in record time. There must be allot of people on vacation this week.

I'll check in tomorrow when we hit New Holland, hopefully we'll get there by 10:00 am. I need to stop at Yoders Market and get some Garnish and some honey soaked pecans. Those things are dynamite.

Good Night

And So it Begins

I'll be leaving my home in Massachusetts tonight to set out on a bbq adventure. The first part in the adventure will take me to New Holland Pennsylvania to compete in the New Holland Summerfest bbq competition. My Father and I are the defending champs at this event. I'm really looking forward to seeing some old friends I haven't seen in some time.

The next part of my adventure will begin immediately after the brisket category in New Holland. I'll hop in to a truck with Jack McDavid of Food Channel fame and Jim Boggs and together we'll make a 2300 mile trek to Reno Nevada to compete in the OLN television special which will air sometime in October.

I'll share with you my experiences on this adventure or misadventure, only time will tell.

Time to google some directions