World BBQ Championships - the final results from Memphis!
Here are the final results from the World BBQ Championships in Memphis…
Seafood category: Our lobster dogs came 26th out of 102 entries
Beef category: Our beef rib-eye with a British beer glaze came 65th out of 105
Exotic category: Our boneless lamb shoulder with a chimichuri dressing placed 60 out of 78. (lamb is not a commonly eaten meat in the states – other people in this category were cooking rattle snakes and even racoons!)
Saturday was the big day. As they say over there it is “all about the pig!”. On Saturday there was completion for the “whole hog” (whole pig), pork shoulder and pork ribs. We entered in the rib category a version of our ASDA butchers selection sweet BBQ pork rib rack. Judging was split into 3 sections. 1st you have a “blind box” assessment where you have to fill a white takeaway style box with ribs and get it to the judges tent for a specific time.
Four judges assess this “blind”, i.e. they have no idea who sent it for presentation, judging it on colour, appearance, taste and texture. You then have three site inspections by a single judge at a time lasting 15 minutes. The judges ask questions on how you cooked the entry, what the ingredients are and then taste the ribs before finally scoring you.
Of the three judges that came to our tent we scored 2 perfect 10s and a 9.9! If you make the final three a golf cart full of officials will turn up at your tent to let you know and give you 45mins to prepare a final presentation in order to decide the overall winner. After getting the great feedback from the three judges we were very confident and thought we were in with a shot at winning. We started cleaning down and getting ready and then a golf cart with a camera crew on the back pulled up outside our tent. As you can imagine we went ballistic thinking we had got through to the final 3 only to have our hopes dashed when the team on the golf cart introduced themselves not as the finalist judges but as being from the local TV station!
The awards ceremony was a tense affair. Everyone was looking for at least a top 10 position as you get to go on the stage to collect one of the massive 4ft trophies. As it turned out we got 43rd but given there was over 200 competitors on the park we were happy with this. Later we were told some of the professional teams have been coming for 20+ years and have never got in the top 10.
“An amazing achievement”
For our first ever attempt in the world BBQ championships to get 43rd we were told it was an amazing achievement. Bob Ross one of the senior judges came by and ate our ribs saying they were excellent. By the end of the week word was spreading around the park about what we doing. Former world champions like Famous Dave, Big Bob Gibson, Jim Boland and Wayne Loman who runs the Jack Daniels invitational BBQ championships (equivalent to the Masters Golf tournament I suppose) had heard good things from others who had tasted our food and came round to taste it for themselves. They were seriously impressed and hopefully we were able to change the perception of the British ability to BBQ with the Americans.
Overall the experience and learning we got from the championships has been amazing. The American public and fellow competitors were so friendly and complimentary about our BBQ food. We are looking forward to hopefully competing again and certainly using this visit to further improve and make the ASDA Butchers Selection BBQ offer truly world class!