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!
What a great event! The facility at the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair was fantastic. Nice and flat…great times.
We got there on Thursday and got all set up. In about an hour and a half. That’s lightning! We got everything set up, started up on some beers and were about to call it a night when we gott approached by Mike (im terrible with names) of Southern Maryland Smokers. The following happened…
Mike: I saw guitars down here. Where are they?
Lucas: We put them away. Probably done for the night.
Mike: Nope. Get those guitars out, grab some beers and come down here and play guitar for some of the best teams in BBQ
So, we did.
A little impromptu concert for some of the best BBQ teams on the east coast by Sweet Tea Blues! It was pretty awesome…lots of good conversation…some good guitar playing, mostly by Leigh Anne, who ripped out a Charlie Daniels song from memory…(In my defense, i haven’t touched a guitar in a while in getting ready for BBQ) Got to hang out with the good people from Hog-IT-Up BBQ, Dizzy Pig, CHIX, SWINE and BOVINE, JD’s Smokin’ Misfits, Southern Maryland Smoker, Serial Griller, Deguello BBQ, and I’m sure others that we are missing. Lots of new friends!
And lots and lots of moonshine.
Friday morning was a bit of a blur…the lawn mower was blowing grass into my face through the tent at around 8 a.m. The girls showed up, and we started getting to work on our boxes and meat prep. We were constantly entertained by our man Smooth next door. Constant entertainment.
Girls getting at it.
The girls left around 9 p.m. I hung out with Smooth and JJ for a bit before deciding to try and get some shut eye. So I hit the tent around 10:30.
Next thing I know, Smooth is kicking me through the tent….”Lukie…shit’s about to get real out here!”
I pop up, get out, and start getting everything ready for a thunderstorm. It was crazy for a few minutes, but everything held up pretty well. So…back to bullshittin with Smooth and such. At 12, I decide to try again to get some sleep. Zip up the tent. Then WHOOSH. Another rain storm. Get back up…back out. Smooth grabs me by the shirt and says, “Listen mf’er…you aint going back in that tent. Every time you do it rains!”
So…up all night with Smooth. I do not know where he gets his energy from.
I take care of everything cooking wise. The girls show up, I go grab a shower…and then we get after it.
In terms of the cook, everything pretty much went as expected. We learned a ton and will be even more on top of our game next time. But, one thing to note….Kim and Leigh Anne worked their butts off, and they are precise. I wouldnt trade them for anything.
For our first comp, we did pretty good. 12 in chicken, 24 in ribs, 35 in pork and 34 in Brisket. Definitely ok, but definitely room for improvement.
Best Team in BBQ
It was a great event and we met some great people. Cant wait to do it again!