Monday, September 14, 2009

Scenes from Saturday's BBQ Cook-Off

It was a blast judging the professional BBQ'd brisket division at Saturday's A Full Plate’s Third Annual Rib Cook-Off. The full results have already been posted by event coordinator e at Foodaphilia and a thorough accounting of the days events is already up at Mac & Cheese. So, I'll keep things brief 'round these parts today with some old-fashioned boldface blogging.

The rain stayed away, gray skies kept the sunburn at bay and a pretty good crowd came out to play in the enclave behind the Piazza at Schmidts.

I'm not sure that judge Marc "Burgatory" Sanders knew quite what to make of some of the entries in the "Anything Goes" category.

Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars and Taylor "Mac & Cheese" High were among the many volunteer judges for the vegetarian category.'s Collin Flatt (foreground) and Mr. Foobooz himself, Arthur Etchells (in cap), were pure pros when it came to the serious, sticky work of judging the entries in the professional rib competition.

The crew from Stoudt's Brewing Company may have arrived in style but they had their work cut out for them trying to keep their Scarlet Lady ESB and American Pale Ale flowing for the thirsty crowds.

The Root cocktail included with the price of admission -- I opted for Root and ginger ale on the rocks -- wasn't quite enough to convince me of the merits of Philadelphia's newest specialty herbal liqueur. I'll reserve more complete judgment until I have the chance to try it straight as well as in a more artful concoction. The gals from Art in the Age seemed to be having a good time pouring it, though.

You might think that volunteering to judge a BBQ competition is just a free ticket to pigging out. Fact is, I spent most of the day waiting in the wings in a good-faith effort to keep the tasting blind. By the time I finished judging the brisket competition, which was the last round of the day, the Mermaid BBQ team were the only competitors still serving.

Three or four of the nine entries in the professional brisket category were pretty damn solid. The sample from Q BBQ & Tequila, though, stood head and shoulders above the rest, earning them first place on the day.

Sonata took this year's crown as overall crowd favorite.

After a long afternoon of pork and beef, sauce and salt, a couple of brews were in order. The Pils Picnic around the corner at Johnny Brenda's was just the ticket. A glass of Sly Fox Keller Pils, another of Victory Herzbrucker Pils, and all was good.


Do Bianchi said...

Philadelphia is such an awesome food town... we gotta come visit you one of these days!

David McDuff said...

You know you guys have a standing invitation anytime you want to come for a visit. There's a Nebbiolo variety pak here with your name on it, not to mention a cheesesteak, or maybe some roast pork....

hey_kevin said...

I'm jealous of the great local lager you have access to in Philly. Out here on the plains, (Iowa City, IA) we have far less access to good local lager.



David McDuff said...

Hey Kevin,
Philly's been a great beer city for centuries now and it just keeps getting better. We really do have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to good local brewers.

I won't be around for this weekend's Oktoberfest celebration but I'm already looking forward to next year's edition of Philly Beer Week, especially as it's been rescheduled to coincide with Philly Cycling Week (aka, the Philadelphia Cycling Classic).

Anonymous said...

Cool, I wish this would take place in many towns

Anonymous said...

It sounds great with a food event, and I realise it is a good way to attract tourists. However, one might wish for a food event of a different kind as well in order to attract a different segment. For me, it would be wonderfull with an event which has more healthy food as well, one might even want to set op cooking classes for the guests to learn to cook the food them selves. That would be a lot of fun.... What I also believe that this food event lacks is authenticity, I mean waht is the reason for this event? Is Philadelphia and BBQ connected in anyway? If there was a history related to the event? I am certain that more people would come to experience and learn something about the food culture in Philadelphia if the event was related to something historic as well. And if it is I appologise, but then perhaps it is not clear from the adds. Finally, I actually like the idea of having competitions. Is it possible to give out the recipies of the winning cooks? It might be more fun for the participants?
Regards Maj Bergh

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