Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A competition team is formed.

Over the first few years I spent hundreds of hours tending to my little water smoker and the various cuts of meats that adorned the grill. I bought a ton of cookbooks, tried new techniques, spices, rubs and sauces, and I started to make some really good barbecue. Eventually I had friends ask me to cook for their social engagements, their parties and their dances, and I really enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm and passion with this new love of mine. However as a bit of a perfectionist I am always trying to improve on whatever I do. This is not necessarily a good trait as you are seldom happy with your results and it can be exhausting in your quest for perfection. That said, I charged on full steam ahead. I took lessons in the US from Ray Lampe, also known as “Dr. BBQ”. I took a course with Paul Kirk “The Baron of BBQ” that Angie Qualle of ”Well Seasoned” in Langley hosted,and had beers and dinner with someone I would eventually call a friend, author “Rockin Ronnie” Shewchuck. It was Ron’s book that I first found intriguing because of the barbecue competition stories. I hung on to those stories and thought maybe one day I would be good enough to compete as well.

Eventually I would go on to have surgery on my back. It was not a complete success but it helped alleviate the pain. Not living in agony all the time tends to put a better perspective on life and you’re outlook changes. I was much more ambitious and it was Ron who convinced Smoke and Bones to enter their first competition back in the spring of 2007. By now I had already cooked for groups of three hundred people, but this competition was way more intimidating. I pulled out every trick that I had been taught and that I read over the past couple of years, but when the results came in it was humbling. We did very good for a first time team, but remember the perfectionism? Damn it! One thing I can say is that there were some teams that welcomed us in with open arms and I will never forget them for that. It was because of that, we came back to try again. Friendships were formed and a whole new passion had just begun. A passion that would lead to the reason I am writing this blog.

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