Tomorrow’s going to be a great day for anyone who likes the taste and aroma of classic barbecue. In less than 24 hours, the start of the Queen Mary’s 2014 BBQ Championship Classic will be here and already the teams are setting up and doing prep. The Third Annual West Coast BBQ Classic is one of the biggest events held at the Queen Mary’s Events Park in Long Beach. As one of the events of the circuit that is sanctioned by both the national organization, the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) and the California BBQ Association (CBBQA), it attracts the best of the best who come to barbecue, compete, visit with friends and prove that they make the best BBQ around.
For all the hungry BBQ fans, many of the teams are participating in the ‘People’s Choice’ category. The People’s Choice category is not a defined category for competitive barbecuing. Those categories are beef brisket, pork butt, ribs and chicken. People’s Choice allows teams to cook anything they want so the crowd can purchase different BBQ dishes. At the end, there will also be a tally of who was the most popular under the People’s Choice category.
Renea Teasdale, of the Woodshed BBQ Team, said. “We are doing our first competition. The Woodshed Company is located in Orange and we supply a lot of the teams with the Shed’s Gourmet Cooking Wood”. Renea thinks they have a good chance in the competition. She said, “Our ribs and our brisket should really do well. I’ve been doing BBQ for the last four years; it’s the family business. We’ve really gotten into the quality cooking woods. We’re going to be using pecan and cherry in our reverse-flow cooker. We also have a Santa Maria grill that we’re going to be doing our teriyaki chicken on”. We’ll also be having for the people, Maui Wowie Barbecue Sticks and Hawaiian Baked beans. We’ll also be doing some tri-tip in the pit barrel”.
Meanwhile, Dead Pig Walking BBQ Team was getting ready to hang their banner up. Tim Wong said about his team, “We’re doing the four competition meats, chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket. We’re also going to do the People’s Choice. We’ve been barbecuing since 2011, our little tag line is ‘Sending pigs to heaven since 2011’! It kind of goes along with our theme! We didn’t do it last year, but we liked the location so much we just had to get back here this year. You just can’t find a more fitting, scenic venue than the Queen Mary”.
Outta Gas BBQ already had delicious smells coming from their grill. Chris Ades, on the grill, said “These are beef short ribs, for the Outta Gas Beef Short Rib Tacos. This is something we can produce on a good scale on backyard equipment”. Like many teams, Outta Gas uses a combination of Weber Grills and Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers to cook their meat. Chris is looking forward to cooking barbecue for everyone, saying “If it’s any indication from last year, it’s going to be great. There were a ton of people here last year. Everybody was hungry and looking to eat. We sold out; didn’t bring enough food and ran out around 1 o’clock at the latest. We doubled what we brought last year!”.
Bad Boy Barrel BBQ is one of the veteran teams at the event. For the People’s Choice, they will be doing something a little bit different than the other teams, a smoked tri-tip beef taco and a pulled pork beef taco with some barbecue hot sauce and some pico de gallo. Dave Cardona, along with his son Jed and childhood friend Fred Keeler, will be doing the barbecuing for the team. “We do competition barbecue for the sport and fun of it and continuous learning, but the barbecuing, at least in my son’s heart and mine, is our ability to give back to the community. We do fund raisers; we’ve raised over $800,000 with our pits and our barrels. We’re really happy that a lot of our blood, sweat and tears goes back to the community and also some charitable events. We’re real proud of that”.
Daniel Jess, of Smokey Dokey Barbecue Team, said that “We’re prepping, just getting a little Korean ribs going right now to keep our energy levels high. Twenty hours of smoking ahead of us, you know it’s going to be a long haul, but we’ve brought about ninety pounds of meat and we’re just going to have at it!”. His team has also brought several of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers as well as a large offset smoker so his team can handle any of the meats in the competition.
For Daniel, the BBQ Classic has a hometown feeling to it. “This is a great event and a great venue. I lived in Long Beach for a few years and went to school here. I was married on the Queen Mary three years ago. It’s great to be back! We live in Torrance, so we drove down for two days to be here. This is our first competition, so I’m kind of anxious to see how it all unfolds. I’ve been cooking for about nine years, so I’m pretty confident with the food. I’ll stick to what I know and see how it turns out! ”. He added, “As long as I learn and have fun, it’ll be great!”.
The Third Annual West Coast BBQ Classic will be held on Saturday, May 10, at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach. Tickets and information are available through the Queen Mary’s BBQ event website. At stake for the BBQ teams is over $10,000 in cash prizes and the coveted title of “West Coast BBQ Pitmaster Champion”. Live entertainment, a “Kid’s Country”, eating contests, a merchant market and more will round out the fun at the Queen Mary Events Park. Sixty teams will be participating in the categories of chicken, ribs, pork and beef. In addition, many teams will be offering their ‘People’s Choice’ entries for the public. Tasting portions are available from many of the teams for $2 each.
Third Annual West Coast BBQ Classic
May 10, 2014
11am to 6pm
Queen Mary Events Park
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802