Recovery Fest 2013: “We brought the Backwoods!”

Richmond’s McShin Foundation employs Peer to Peer Recovery Services — meaning thatrecovering addicts and alcoholics mentor, educate, and spread the message of recovery to individuals new in sobriety.  One of their approaches to show the newly sober that fun can be had without substances — teaching the ins and outs of competition barbecue!  For nine years, they have held an annual Recovery Fest, and the past four years have featured a KCBS-sanctioned BBQ Competition.  They also have a pretty killer squad — the McShin Alumni BBQ Team.

With Uncle Dave
We arrived in Richmond on Friday morning to find that our cooksite had already been picked by our buddy Dave from Pavone Brothers.   There’s nothing quite like seeing “Old Virginia Smoke” in neon orange Krylon paint sprayed on a church lawn!  Set up was pretty quick, which gave us a little extra time to get to know the newest team member — a Backwards Party Smoker.  While we’d given her some test fires, this was going to be her first competition.  Also, after a fairly divisive series of team votes, we christened her “Mountain Mama II.”  Leigh Anne Terry, the self-proclaimed “Angriest Woman in BBQ,” also broke her in by baking some chicken flatbread pizzas and some good ol’ West Virginia pepperoni rolls!
Pizza and Pep Rolls
Temperatures dipped down into the fifties on Friday night / Saturday morning, so we bundled up and kept close to the cookers for warmth.  With MMII providing some extra real estate, we filled up all three cookers to the max to give us as much meaty opportunity as possible.  Box Babe Kim Darnell made like Shamu on Saturday morning, as the injector was giving us some problems and splashing anyone in a 15-foot radius.
Let’s take a quick moment for a public service announcement:
KCBS Contest Organizers.  This “we’re only announcing the top five in each category” B.S. has got to stop.  We all know that time can be of the essence, but there’s a magic to getting a call.  Take the extra 5 minutes (total) and call out the top 10 in each category. Make your BBQ teams happy!
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .
Recovery Fest represented our first top 10 finish, and it was actually a top five — 5th PLACE!!!!  Woo hoo!  The tale of the tape — 6th in chicken, 12th in ribs, 7th in pork, and 3rd in brisket.  The brisket trophy has a chef on it.  He will keep our cow trophy and horse’s ass trophy company.
Big ups to JD’s Smokin Misfits on their Grand Championship, and many thanks to our friends at Grand Slam BBQ, Pavone Brother’s BBQ, and Makin Bacon BBQ.
Vroom vroom . . . see you all in a few weeks at the racetrack!