Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cookeville Cookoff

September 11-12, 2009

The Cookeville Cookoff has alway been one of our favorites. In 2007 we got two calls & finished 4th & in 2008 we got a 4th in brisket & bombed in everything else. But that's not why it is one of our favorites. There are several reasons, & the first is Tony Stone! What a great ambassador to BBQ! Tony is one of those special people that after talking to him for five minutes, you feel that you have known him for years. He is always smiling & has an encouraging word or two when things aren't going well. Thanks Tony for all the hard work & dedication that you & your family have put in to make the Cookeville Cookoff one of the best around these parts. The second reason we like the Cookeville Cookeoff so much is that there is an abundance of music, crafts, & vendors. A real street festival atmosphere. The third reason is the people! The locals really come out & support the festival. Judging by the length of the lines at the BBQ vendors they really love to eat BBQ!

After our last two contests our goal in Cookeville was to get back on track. We have been somewhat in a slump! Richard, Gary, & I loaded up Casa DoRag & headed out early Friday morning. After a quick stop for breakfast we arrived in Cookeville around 8 AM. We found Tony & he pointed out our spot. We were a little early and many of the teams had not arrived yet. We quickly got set up & tracked down the "Meat Inspector". With that out of the way Richard & I started prepping while Gary caught a cat-nap! During prep the Teams began to arrive. High on the Hawg pulled in next to us, while Shadetree Cooks, Latenight Whiskey Smokers, Blindog's BBQ Gang, & Light My Fire were down the way. Team Allegro, Jiggy Piggy, Music City Pig Pals, Lotta Bull, & also had set up camp. Seems the whole BBQ family was once again "In Da House"! After finishing prep we were getting a bit hungry & headed over to have some lunch with Brenda & Buck of High on the Hawg, Mark of BBQTV, & Joe of Joebez Blazzin' Butts & Wings. I can't remember the name of the place we had lunch at but the prime rib sandwich was very tastee & the service was excellent. After lunch we visited with the McWrights. Bobbie & Lee befriended us early on offered their help & guidance when we did not have a clue how to do this contest thang! They are truly very special people to us. They recently won their way into "The Jack"! We are so excited for them! I am hoping they will let me hang out with them at "The Jack"! Very Cool! After some visiting & some of Lee's famous Bloody Marys we headed back over to Casa DoRag to prep for our regular Friday night ritual of smoked pork chops, Texas jalapeno sausage, baked potatoes, salad, & ABTs (Atomic Buffalo Turds). We barley got dinner prepped when it was time for the Cook's Meeting! Tony was recognized for starting this contest 20 years ago & growing it into one of the premiere contest in the southeast! Thanks Tony we appreciate you efforts!
After the Cook's meeting was over we began to focus on dinner! High on the Hawg brought the smoked-baked potatoes, Mark & Karen of BBQTV brought a great salad & dressing, while the DoRaggers provided the pork chops, Texas sausage, & ABTs. What a feast! We had just finished dinner & were enjoying the crowd when we felt a drop or two of rain! Before you knew it we were scrambling to get everything put up & heading for dry ground. Linda Gould & Tana Shupe found themselves huddled up under the awning with the rest of us trying to keep dry for over an hour. When the rain finally slowed the crowds & music disappeared leaving us BBQers to ourselves. So we have a nip or two of Apple Pie & called it a night. Very unusual for the DoRag Gang to be in bed @ 10:30 PM! We must be getting soft in our old age! Saturday brought cloudy but dry weather. We had a good nights sleep & were ready to get with it! Gary had made some amazing boxes & we couldn't wait to fill them full for turn in. Our chicken looked great, the ribs were right on track, pork.....well its pork....& our brisket was again amazing. But if you remember at College Grove we felt similar about our product but the judges did not! We did not get a single call. So it's a crap shoot! Again we did the best we could do & if that's all we leave with then....that's all we leave with! By awards time the sun had chased the clouds away & it was a beautiful day as we began to congregate at the main stage. The bands had been kickin out some great tunes & the crowds had picked up where they left off Friday night. So its time to hear the good, bad, & ugly! We didn't have to wait long as we got a 7th place call in chicken! Congrats to Lotta Bull for taking the win. We didn't hear our name called as Team Allegro took 1st in ribs. No DoRagQ called for pork either! Congrats again to Mike & Debbie Davis as Lotta Bull took the win in Pork. Richard & I looked at each other & we both just shook our heads as the announcer began calling brisket. 10th place Music City Pig Pals, 9th Chicago Smoke, 8th Team Allegro, 7th Smokin' Triggers, 6th Senic City Smokers, 5th Governor's BBQ, 4th J-Mack Cookers, 3rd Adam's Rib, 2nd the Algood Bar-B-Q Pit. I was thinking how could the Judges not have liked the brisket? It was one of the best we have ever cooked! Ever! Really!
The announcer then said "from Nashville Tennessee", I was thinking who else besides us if from Nashville? The answer was no-one! First Place Brisket goes to DoRagQ! HOLY COW! WE WON BRISKET! Finally! I had almost forgot about the overall as the announcer began listing the top 10. We placed 7th overall! With the GC going to (for the 2nd time this year) TEAM ALLEGRO & Mike & Melinda of J-Mack cookers taking the RGC! Congrats!

After the awards we had to wait a few minutes for other teams to pull out so we could hook up so I had a few minutes to collect my thoughts before the drive home. I was having a cold one & thinking about the brisket win. Winning brisket means a lot to me because that is what my Grandfather taught me how to cook many years ago when I was growing up in Texas. Many of you know the story so I won't bore you with it again but I gotta thank "Shotgun Shorty" for teaching me how to BBQ (& drink beer & cuss). He most likley won't admit it but I think he's gonna be proud of me when I tell him.

Another great weekend with my BBQ Family. We had a respectable finish & we won FRICKIN BRISKET! A much needed shot in the arm for the DoRagQ Gang as we continue our stretch of 6 weekends in a row of contests. Next week another American Bass Anglers BBQ Contest in Guntersville Alabama. Hopefully we can remember what we did right & duplicate it. But if we don' least we are cooking BBQ right? Come see us & if your are at the Titan's games we tailgate at the LimeLight across from the stadium. Chances are we will be having left-over BBQ so come & join us! Until then....Go Vols, Go Titans, thanks Grampo! I love you!

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