Saturday, October 10, 2009

Super City Blues and Ques, Illinois State Championship

Before we left Kansas I did a little more research in regards to cooking and in particular brisket and the pork butt categories. I have done okay in the past but they have never been my strongest in competition. I went over these two areas with different individuals and teams at the Royal and then once again with another person before we left. We made our way to St. Louis and enjoyed our stay there, but I could not stop thinking about what I had learned. I really did not feel like cooking a brisket and a pork shoulder in the parking lot of the hotel we were staying at, however I did entertain the thought. One night I went to the Kansas City Barbeque Society website and looked for upcoming events that might be near by. The 2009 Supercity Blues and Ques Illinois State Championship in Metropolis was scheduled for October 9th and 10th so I called to find out if I could still compete. I was told by their organizer, a nice woman by the name of Pris, that they would fit me in. Great! Now I could practice some of the things I had recently learned.

We drove to Metropolis and paid our entrance fees and then made our way to Paducha Kentucky across the Ohio River to rent a hotel.
When we registered I asked where a good place to buy some quality meat was and was directed to a market in West Paducha. I placed a call to see if they had what I was looking for and sure enough they did, so off we went to go shopping. When we got there I asked for two pork shoulders, two beef briskets, and four racks of ribs. The lady behind the counter looked at me, turned her ear to me and said "four what?" I said "four racks of ribs." She looked at me and said in a heavy southern accent, "I thought you said rocks", "you mean rarks?" I responded, with "yes, I need four rarks." Good to go.

We arrived at the competition on Friday about noon. When I pulled around the block to make my way up to our spot on the main street the first thing I saw was the” Lotta Bull BBQ” RV and BBQ pit parked in the first spot. Immediately I thought, “Competition is going to be very tough.” There were teams from Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. I was the only one with Weber’s, everything else were big pits, trailers and homemade converted oils tanks.

We met a lot of really nice people at this weekend and they really treat us well. It seems they are generally thrilled that a team would come so far and visit them. No shortage of new friends and memories from this trip. I was told that southern hospitality is really amazing and I am definitely finding it to be true. I was surprised that when Mike Davis from Lotta Bull and I were chatting, that he offered his help in lining up a pit for me to compete at the Jack in two weeks. He then also informed me that he had a stockpile of wood in Tennessee that I could have access to. Mike and his wife Debbie are very friendly and it is no wonder they have so many friends around the country.

Awards time came and I honestly thought I turned in the best brisket and pork that I ever have, but I still thought I am among some big contenders here. As the results came in we got second in brisket, and seventh in pork, right here in barbeque country. We finished fifth overall and feel pretty good about our spur of the moment decision to compete. We also got a special award of recognition presented to us from the city of Metropolis, signed by the mayor, for coming so far of to compete at this competition. We are bringing home more hardware and prize money! Thanks Illinois.


  1. Way to fire Justin! You should be proud of those spontaneous moments which include walks and hardware!

    I am truly envious and in awe.