Jack Daniel's World Championship
Invitational Barbecue
October 24-25, 2008
Lynchburg, TN

Click on any image to see a larger version

alittlejack.jpg (62938 bytes) Rhythm 'n QUE is bringing home a little Jack!!!
Now that we've already thrown down the punchline, we can go back to the beginning of the story.  We arrived at Jack Daniel's Hollow (pronounced "holler") late Thursday afternoon, and since an inch of rain was forecast for the following day we decided we'd better pitch camp quickly before dark fell. 
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The towncar got parked on the other side of the path, against our backdrop.
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This was what we ended up with, and it would be home base for the weekend.
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The settings on my camera got messed up, so here's another shot just in case you couldn't quite make out the detail of my second-favorite souvenir.
As promised, the next day dawned raining in that steady way that lets you know that you're in for a long haul. It was bitter cold, too -- maybe it was because of the humidity, but even though the temp gauge said "54" it was more like "yeah, maybe 54 BELOW", at least for us thin-blooded desert rats. 
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This was my fashion statement for Friday -- I had something like five layers working, and was still freezing. Yes, that is a plastic grocery-bag rainhat.
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So it rained, and rained, and rained, and VQ trimmed meat, and it rained some more, and I dreaded trimming chicken, and it rained some more. Eventually I had to get rolling on cooking the dessert, so here I am boiling up some cream before the ramekins got slammed into the smoker, all styling in my rainboots. Let me assure you, I would have made a crappy pioneer woman.
By the time that was done, I set to trimming up chicken while admiring the clouds that my breath made in the lamplight. And by the time that was done I was done too, so poor VQ was abandoned to spend another night in his spiffy new 40-below sleeping bag.
Saturday dawned as the Perfect Contest Day -- the clouds were rolling away, the ground was starting to dry, the hollow was filled with thin blue smoke.
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If you had been a tourist coming to see the World Championships, you would have come in through here
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and seen many entertaining things like this
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and they even have some pretty big bottles lying around.
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We, however, were seeing nothing but our cooksite as we were in The Zone.
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We made some ribs
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and sliced them up.
deadpigwalkin.jpg (50929 bytes) Each entry was timed to the minute so that it could be boxed and run to deliver it hot to the judges at the appointed time, with as much of its charm intact as possible.

"DAID PIG! We got DAID PIG walkin heah!!!"
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Run, Forrest, ruuuunnnn!!!
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We watched VQ pull his pork
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and there was some brisket in there too.
dessertsnus.jpg (80018 bytes) Then it was time to slam together some desserts, and do a quick shot with the tray before it ran off too.
Back at camp, we could finally exhale. A nice man had come by with a Jack bag filled with hickory nuts, and had us draw one from the bag. He said that one of them was a magic hickory nut, and that it would like Jack Daniels and we should pet it and be good to it. Of course we asked how we'd know if we'd got the magic nut, an
d he said we'd find out as soon as the Grand Champion was called out.
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You know we took good care of that nut, and whipped out our teensy bottle of Jack Daniel's and gave it an impromptu baptism, and each took communion from the bottle for good measure.
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By and by, it was time to head off to the pavilion to hear the awards called out.
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We all got herded in to where a cattle auction would be held -- see, here's a heiffer!
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At one end of the barn, they'd done up a stage
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and there was some guy on it.
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And after a nail-biting interval, we actually heard our name called!!!!!!!!!
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So as it turned out, we got to come home with the little party favor you saw in the first shot.
For the next year, we get to bask in the glow of being the second-best BBQ chicken cookers In The Entire World.  Pretty darn exciting stuff for a little BBQ team from Arizona.


4727 East Bell Road #45-360
Phoenix, AZ  85032