076 NBBQA Conference – Day 3

NBBQA Conference

076 Conference - Day 3


This is Episode Ten of Season Six, my U.S. Road Trip Part II. This is the third and final episode recorded live at the NBBQA Conference in Kansas City. The last day of the event was a double-headed Steak Cookoff Association competition. That’s right, two rounds in one day. The competition was fierce as all of the professionals who’d just spent two days cooped up in the Mariott for two days came bursting outside to the square across the street ready to light charcoal and have a good old throw down. There was an awesome festival feel to the event, despite being literally in the middle of busy Kansas City. There was even one BBQ trailer that periodically shot bursts of flame into the air while blasting out rock music. It. Was. Awesome!



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With Dan from Gryphon Smokehouse

  •  He’s been going to the Conference since 2015
    • It’s a great learning opportunity
    • The networking is fantastic
    • It lets him save time by avoiding the trial and error process
    • It’s a similar process to the evolution of competition BBQ in Australia
  • Dan was a celebrity Chef in the Culinary Fight Club
    • Saffron, executive director of the NBBQA lined it up
    • It was intimidating to go up against well-established chefs, but he had a great time
    • People were pinching samples off the judging plate as he was trying to get ready
    • It was a very different experience being a person in the crowd
    • He had 45 seconds to grab ingredients off the table
    • Competitors can circle the table for an hour beforehand to think about what they want to do
    • He wanted to do a Katsu Bah Mi, but forgot the bread sticks


With Yvonne from Tel-Tru

  • Next year’s conference is going to be in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Tel-Tru is 103 years old in 2019
    • They’ve always been in the industrial market sector
    • The growth of the BBQ scene has been fantastic for them
    • They go through audits annually, and pass with flying colours 
  • They have an integrated manufacturing plant near Niagara Falls
    • They use parts that use traceable materials
      • 301, 304, 306 are the materials that they use
    • Every single gauge must pass a strict testing procedure, plus or minus 1%
    • They make their own bi-metal probes
  • Accuracy and Customer Service are paramount to Tel-Tru
  • Every Big Green Egg now has Tel-Tru gauges, thanks to feedback from customers

With Roy Sisco from the Arkansas Sauce Co

  • He arrived on Wednesday and went on the bus tour
  • He’s been coming since 2006 and has been coming ever since
    • Since he retired he started his sauce company and is now busier than when he was working
  • They got a place at the Excellence Awards
    • He got 2nd place for his Hog Sauce, complimenting his previous 4 1st place wins
  • His sauce is a finishing sauce that is flexible – you can change the flavour by adding flavoured jellies (jams)
      • It was originally designed for pulled pork
  • The Conference is more like a Family Reunion and he has contacts around the US and the world thanks to the Conference
  • He’s working with Ray ‘Dr BBQ’ Lampe at the Big Green Egg tent at the Conference

With Ray ‘Dr BBQ’ Lampe

  • Kansas City is one of the original BBQ cities in the States
  • Joe’s BBQ in the gas station is one of the best BBQ joints in the country
  • These days, Dr BBQ is living in Florida
    • He’s opened a new restaurant
    • He’s partnered with people who are really business savvy
    • The biggest challenge has been managing the workforce
    • He’s written 9 cookbooks
    • He’s been a brand ambassador for Big Green Egg for 15 years
  • He loves sharing good BBQ with people at the NBBQA
  • He finds that almost every table at the restaurant has a ‘BBQ Expert’ that will try and pass judgement on BBQ
  • BBQ in Florida
    • Away from the water, Florida is full of red necks like Georgia so BBQ is big
    • They have a lot of Texan influence, but don’t really have a regional style
  • He disagrees with the regional styles of BBQ
    • Most of that stuff is written by food critics in New York who have never eaten it
    • Every town has its own style of BBQ
  • Alabama White sauce
    • It’s basically salad dressing
    • Not restricted to Alabama
  • BBQ styles have grown based on what’s readily available in those areas
  • Ray doesn’t compete anymore
    • He started competing in 1982 in Chicago and competed until 2016
    • In that time he’s seen the scene grow incredibly
    • In 1982, they didn’t even have tents but now they have $100,000 trailers
    • He refers to competitors as technicians – he used to just turn up with a cutting board, a knife, and a grill
  • The Money Muscle
    • He thinks it’s a bit over the top, but was one the pioneers of that cut
  • In the future he thinks:
    • In the past they dreamed of the competitions being like NASCAR
    • It didn’t go that way
    • The entrepreneur mentality is what has succeeded, rather than just who isthe best cook
    • BBQ restaurants have evolved
      • They got automatic smokers like Ole Hickory
      • Then people like Franklin went back a step to traditional offset smokers
    • He thinks maybe the competition scene will return to a certain point in the past, but is unsure when
    • Change will probably come from a sponsor who makes a decision about what they want to see

With Brandon from Jazzy B’s

  •  He’s there promoting his restaurant and serving food from his food truck
  • He was a football player who used to cook for the team
    • He got really good and started a food truck
    • He has different takes on traditional BBQ
  • When he started in the truck
    • It sucked at first because food trucks weren’t a thing in KC
    • It took people a while to change their mentality to be open to his cooking styles
    • The food truck was basically a litmus test
  • The food truck ended up doing private bookings and the public started getting mad coz they couldn’t get their Jazzy meats
  • He’s just south east of the city, in Jackson County, on the Missouri side 
    • The ‘show me’ State – you have to prove to people that you’re good before people will even talk to you
  • The smoker is not in the truck
    • He has a traditional offset, an automatic smoker and a pig smoker
  • Some of his foods include
    • A Cajun Quesadilla
    • Brisket Tacos
    • Reuben Roll
      • Rye bread
      • Homemade thousand island dressing
      • Wrapped in Panko and deep fried
    • Jalapeño Poppers
    • Smokes burgers
      • Smoked 8 ounce burger patties
      • Candy Corn Cheese
    • Po Boy burger
    • Brisket Pho
  • His brain is constantly running, coming up with ideas

With Mike from Code 3 Spices

  • There’s nothing else like the NBBQA Conference anywhere in the world
  • Code 3 Spices started 6½ years
  • Mike was a Police Officer
    • He had a couple of burn out phases
    • His last burn out was the worst
    • The only thing that helped him was BBQing coz he didn’t have to worry about everything else
    • BBQ pulled him out of his slump
    • Diagnosed with PTSD in 2012
  • He and his business partner Chris
    • Make ribs, sauces and BBQ supplies
    • They are dedicated to suicide prevention for First Responders and Military
    • They want to find ways to help people who need it most
  • They have excellent, award-winning prizes, but the people that they work with and help are the most rewarding part of it
  • Almost everyone in the BBQ community gives back in some way or another
  • They donate to
    • Backstoppers in Illinois who support widows and families of fallen First Responders
    • Safe Call Now – 24 hr suicide prevention call line
    • US Veteran’s Foundation
  • They won a range of Awards at the Excellence Awards
    • It comes down to having a good product
    • They also got some places in the SCA competition ladder
  • Check them out at code3spices.com and at the same name on all social media platforms

With Kathy and Mike from High School BBQ Cookers Association

  • The focus is getting kids cooking from age 5 – 15
    • Very important as many kids can’t boil water
  • In high school, the program teaches them not only how to cook, but also how to design and weld their own smokers etc
  • The social media work that the kids were doing got more attention than the local football teams!
    • They got viral content going which got more attention than the football team
  • The kids are going to be cooking at the World BBQ Championships
    • They will have ten teams there this year



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