When the Chillin’ and Grillin’ in the Glades popped up on the calendar, we figured…what the hey. Neither of us had been down to that part of Virginia before. It was a first year comp, and Kim had met the organizer earlier in the year in Lanexa, VA. She said Greg seemed like a nice fella, so we signed up.
We got to Wise around 6 p.m. on Thursday and had a very nice dinner with some BBQ friends at the hotel. We were staying at The Inn at Wise, which, according to just about any staff member you asked, is completely haunted.
The next day we got set up on the corner right across from the hotel. Primo spot, close to the hotel room that we rarely have when we are cooking. We were set up next to our new friend Billy Rhoades from Hickory Prime, who was right beside our traveling companions Serial Griller. Mark was by himself this weekend, so no fun hijinks with Nikki!
There were only 19 teams at this comp, but the field was extremely top heavy. 9 teams within the top 61 in the country were here. Including Donny Bray from Warren County Pork Choppers. Luke had taken Donny’s class earlier in the year, and this would be his first time cooking against him.
The usual stuff ensued. It naturally rained its ass off on Friday night. We made friends with the cook team across the street made up of prison guards, who facilitated a moonshine tasting party at 1:30 a.m. (Caramel and blackberry. What a treat. )
Kim got up and we set to work. We were without Leigh Anne, which meant more work for Kim and Luke. There were no surprises, but the ribs were a little tight. Time to hope and see at awards.
While cleaning up, Luke asked the Mayor, with whom we had befriended the day earlier, if he could move the truck onto the street and hook up the trailer. He said sure, no problem. So, we did. Shortly after, another official came by and said, “hey….move that truck.”
Luke looked at him and replied, straight dead panned, “Mayor said…”
The dude laughed and said it was cool. Droppin’ the mayor card.
Also during clean up, we see a dude just running around Serial Griller’s cooksite, cleaning everything and in general moving like a bug on a hot rock. Luke strolled down and asked Mark, “hey, did you get a new teammate when we weren’t looking?”
Mark replied, “Thats Greg. He’s doing community service.”
Turns out the organizer is a parole officer, and had dudes doing community service during the event. Genius.
This is an option?? Mark Breen, ladies and gentlemen. BBQ innovator.
Onto awards. Four teams were ripping out calls in every category….our friends from Under the Radar, our furry buddy Jay with 4:20Q, who had a first place chicken and brisket, the defending team of the year Warren County Pork Choppers…and OVS, with a 2nd place chicken, 7th place ribs, 4th placed pork and 5th place brisket. It was gonna be tight.
We thought for sure ol Hey Hey Jay had us, but then they called him for third. Down to us…and the 2014 KCBS team of the year.
And he got us. Which was expected.
Still, we were super excited to finish as RGC. We stayed in Wise another night to celebrate with friends, and enjoyed a kick ass show by Nighttrain, a Guns n Roses tribute band.
Wise VA has some of the best people you will ever meet. Some usual first year hiccups, but one of the most team friendly events you will ever find. We can’t wait to go back next year!
Got to see some friends we hadn’t seen in a long time, like our friend Sean Mikel with Contagious Q, and Allen and Kathy Clem with Under the Radar. Had a blast rocking out Saturday night with Daniel from Flavor Savor. We also made some new ones including Billy, Kelly and Rhonda from Uncultured Swine, and Jackie from Smoke On This. And Matt Smith and the prison guards. Those guys rule.
Couldn’t do this without all of the support from our sponsors Dizzy Pig BBQ, The BBQ Guru, BBQ Bob’s Havn’ a BBQ Sauce, Kosmos Q and The Wine’ing Butcher.
See you next week in Galax!