(This entry originally posted Friday at The Memphis Blog)
The World Championship Barbecue Cooking contest is heating up in every literal way possible. I moseyed down there for lunch today to visit my friend and co-worker Mike (below, at right), CA plateroom/prepress man and the brains behind Sow Luau, and sweated buckets in the sun. But it’s a beautiful day so I can’t complain too much. I got some free food (a hamburger, a hot wing, and some bacon-wrapped deer meat) outta the deal. Alas, I didn’t get to sample any barbecue during my brief trip to BBQ Fest (CRUEL IRONY*!). Mike’s team’s shoulders were still in the cooler, getting ready for their big moment.
Mike was kind enough to give me the tour of the Sow Luau homestead, which is adorned with hilarious and awesome themed pig heads on sticks out front, made by an artist friend of Mike’s. They get a new head every year and you can tell just from the collection that they’ve been doing this for a long long time (since 1982, to be exact).
I learned that they do a good deal of their cookin’ on a contraption made out of two old bath tubs adorned with pieces from a winning trophy. True story. The lengths of ingenuity people will go to to cook pork just the right way. It’s inspiring.
I have to tell you, the way people go all out on their booths is pretty dang impressive. Clever and funny names abound. I wish I’d had more time to hang around, but, well, we’ve got a paper to put out.
Mike keeps prodding me to take some days off so I can really experience BBQ Fest next year. I’m seriously considering it.
Anyway, for this year, keep up with the action on Twitter, and if you go and want to tweet, use the #mimbbq hash tag so we can see keep up with you’re saying. Also check out The CA’s blog, which is full of neat-o behind-the-scenes stuff.
* The first person to point out that this isn’t actually irony will get smacked upside the head.