The (cough) in COF-A-Que stands for “Circle of Friends.” That’s as good an indicator of the kind of people who cook this competition as anything. It’s all about having one damn fine time. This is the 14th year for this private competition / charity fundraiser put on by the good folks at Hands On Events, Inc. Proceeds from COF-A-Que benefit Hungry for Music, a non-profit dedicated to providing the gift of music to underserved children with a hunger to play. The event has grown largely by word-of-mouth here in the Northern Virginia area. And grown it has . . .
COF-A-Que is also a bit of a homecoming for Pitmaster Lukie D, as his former team, Smoke Dreams, is a longstanding supporter and participant.
However, this is not a KCBS sanctioned event. In fact, it might be fair to say that most teams at COF-A-Que feel that KCBS competitions offer too many rules, restrictions, and caveats. As such, COF-A-Que features not only the big four meats, but judging on breakfast foods, side dishes, random meats (!), beef (not brisket), adult beverages, seafood – just to name a handful.
OVS competed in seven categories – appetizer, chicken, pork, brisket, ribs, dessert, and kid’s choice. We were so pleased to be joined by Bristow’s own Jake “The Snake”. The Snake lives right next door to the Darnells, and he slithers across the yard every time those smokers get fired. He jumped at the chance to join us for a cook and asked to make baby back ribs. After doing a taste test of different rubs and sauces with Luke and Kim, the Snake zeroed in on a killer recipe.
In addition to Snakes’ baby back ribs, we turned in our standard KCBS versions of the big four, some killer Tsunami wings (SPICY!), and chocolate-dipped pig candy that looked just like slices of scrumptious brisket, complete with the illusion of smoke rings!
At the end of the day, we pulled 3rd in pork and our man Jake the Snake walked away with 2nd place in the kid’s category (I love it when we hook ‘em young!!!). Additionally, Pitmaster Lukie won the special “Horse’s Ass” trophy from the event organizers due to his pestering e-mails. Did you know they made a trophy that features the back half of a horse on it? Me neither, but we have one.
OVS wants to send some special love to Kirk Vespestad, Tim Butka, Dwayne Allain, Michael Burton, and Eric Woodall at Smoke Dreams BBQ Team for hooking us up with some extra lettuce when ours got mysteriously left in the fridge.
Additionally, we want to send some big love to our award-winning neighbors on the campsite – Kiss of Smoke, Smokeadelic and the Que Funk Allstars, and Blondo St. BBQ – mmm, mmm, good y’all!
As always, a special nod to Brother James Walker at First Heritage Mortgage for his financial and transportation assistance.
Thank you Keith & Cara Thompson, Rick and Jake the Snake for coming out and joining us!