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BBQ Tour Stop #1: Columbus, MS

April 11, 2011

Columbus, Mississippi Grilling on the River BBQ Contest

Christine (yeah, Chris is going by Christine since some folks last year came to events looking for the two “dudes,” Mike and Chris) and I rolled into Columbus on Thursday morning prior to the 5th Annual Grilling on the River contest. This contest raises funds for the Columbus area Humane Society. On Friday, the event didn’t open until 4:00 p.m. but since this was our first stop for the BBQ Tour, we showed up early to get things ready. This year we have a new smoker – the Good-One Marshall which is the “middle child” of the Good-One family with a larger grilling area than the Open Range model, which we used the last two years. It also has four smoking racks available to smoke up whatever we might need at events, which also doubles as a nice holding oven for all our meat samples.

Speaking of meat samples, we will be feeding the masses again this year and need the extra holding space for all the good eats. Tyson chicken wings are on the menu with three varieties – Buffalo Hot, Honey BBQ and Tequila Lime – Cavanaugh Sausages brings a nice smoked sausage, Kielbasa and spicy smoked sausage to the party, along with Weber Gourmet Burgers! Nobody should go away hungry from one of our demonstrations!

Master of Mixes is along for the party again this year and we are really excited to help promote their Margarita Lite Big Bucket! We had two cases shipped into the hotel and on Thursday night when we got in, I called down to the front desk to ask if our margaritas had been delivered. The front desk clerk thought I was pulling a prank on her until I explained the shipping confirmation said it was delivered to the front desk. The next morning, we did find our margarita’s next door at a different hotel. Personally, I think the delivery guy was splitting the “booty” with the hotel’s staff if nobody claimed it…

Columbus was also the first stop that Redwood Creek Wine would be joining us so we prepared a special Malbec marinated flank steak for our Saturday demonstration which came out beautifully and was the tastiest dish of the day!

I would like to mention the beautiful weather that we experienced in Columbus – 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity. Holy cow it was HOT! Not used to that type of weather, especially for our first stop out on the tour but it sure beat rain or cold.

At every event, we have folks come out to help us pass out samples and interact with the crowds. Harvey Myrick, the event organizer lined us up with students from East Mississippi Community College who were in the school’s culinary program. They were fantastic and even came out Friday in their chef jackets and long pants. After setting them up with t-shirts and explaining that Saturday’s attire was shorts, they settled in quite well and helped hand out our Margarita Lite and Reser’s Potato Salad samples, along with all the other partner samples that we hand out at each event!

Congrats to Mike & Beth with Quau on their Grand Champion and Kingsford win! Late Night Whiskey Smokers from Lynchburg won Reserve Grand, while 2 Men and a Pig, Heavenly Manna, Wild Bunch Butt Burners and Quau had category wins in Chicken, Ribs, Pork and Brisket.

Next stop is our home event in Springfield, Mo. for the 12th Annual Rock’n Ribs event. This is our “Million Dollar” year where we hope to top the $1,000,000 mark for total donations over the 12 year run of the event – all going towards Children’s Charities of the Ozarks!

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