This is my 3rd year writing about MIM and I must confess, I always have a hard time recapping the event because there is so much to talk about, and so much energy and sentiment behind it, I could write a small novel. So here is my attempt at recapping my experience without belaboring it and taking all the fun out.
Memphis In May is an awesome experience like no other. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that this has turned into my annual “father – daughter bonding experience” and also my networking event of the year. It is truly one of my events where I learn a ton and have a great time dorking out with all my BBQ peeps. It’s like having an International BBQ Family Reunion!
Dad and I had been prepping for a while to do the “People’s Choice” Category, but then it got cancelled so we volunteered to cook for the “BBQ Brethren Forum” dinner at the tent instead. As the festival “country” is the Phillipines, we wanted to be thematic and therefore chose to make “Pinoy Pork Skewers” that are the local street food, grilled meat on a stick variety of the Phillipines, and it was a hit at the dinner. I paired these with my old stand-by GrillGrrrl Favorites: grilled romaine, basil butter texas toast, and grilled poundcake and mangos for dessert. We served nearly 50 people and the team pulled together to help me bring it together and it was a hit! I’m really thankful at how awesome and helpful my team is for helping me pull it off.
This year we entered all the ancillary categories and did very well, nearly top 20 in all of them. The MOST EXCITING PART was that we placed #2 in the tomato based sauce category thanks to our teammate Blake Marcum. It was quite the awesome experience to get to walk the stage!! Go team Too Sauced To Pork!
We tried a new grill/smoker this year, the Grilla and were getting used to cooking on it versus our standard Stumps smoker. We entered the rib category this year and did not place as well as last year, but hey you don’t win em all!
Congrats to Melissa Cookston and the Yazoo’s Delta Que team for winning Grand Champion this year! They’re on fire! You go girl!
All the while, we had the travel channel documenting the experience so it was cool to get the chance to expose the Too Sauced to Pork Team to America! Get ready to see us in Action on a show called “Festival, Exposed!!! (or something like that) Now America will soon see the awesome dynamic that is our team!
Some of the highlights this year:
- Taking our keg of beer to the awards ceremony via a shopping cart
- Tasting the awesome ribs made by George Shore and the Pitmakers, as cooking at the Kingsford “On Asswinement” tent
- Biscuits and Bacon Explosion for breakfast on Saturday
- Dinner at The Danish National BBQ Team Tent (LOVE THOSE GUYS!!!!)
- Meeting legends of BBQ: Mike Mills (Peace, Love and BBQ), Dave Raymond of “Sweet Baby Ray’s” BBQ sauce, Rocky Stubblefield of “Stubb’s BBQ sauce” and Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke BBQ (he’s also on BBQ PitMasters)
- Having some time girl time with the lovely ladies of The Shed BBQ: Linda (Mama Shed), Brooke, Reagan, and Chef Sara
- Doing the “Clothes Switch” at the Shed Tent- Shed Tent wears Danish Uniforms and Vice Versa, Linda and I switch my GRILLGRRRL Shirt, Linda puts Martin (Danish National BBQ Team) in her bra and stuffs them with apples (You cannot make this stuff up!
- The Pig Pinata- NEED I SAY MORE
- Jesse from ThermoWorks and his hilarious “anonymous BBQ personality impression”, plus, the Mini- Thermapen
- The Frank’s Red Hot Wing Eating Contest- our team member, Karen from Buffalo, won the contest! Now isn’t that fitting and awesome! I love a girl that can out-eat the boys in a wing contest!
- Kurt and Bill from my team and their ongoing “Wisconsin Cheese” party tray. These guys should be on the Wisconsin Cheese board- they represent the state well! **** Plus, cheese goes really well with beer!
- Hanging out with Shane Draper (Drapers BBQ Sauce) and Big Wayner (BigWayner’sBBQblog) at the Tucker’s Cookers Tent
Last but not least, hanging out with my dad. As always, we had a blast and I have enough memories to ride high on the hog until next year. My Dad, Eddie, aka “Grill Grrrl’s Dad”, has unanimously been voted coolest Dad by everyone I know.We’ve now got 360+ days to get ready to kick some competition butt next year!