Leslie Roark Scott, the “BBQ Princess,” is the newest contributor to GrillGrrrl.com. She was the youngest woman to win Grand Champion at Memphis in May at the age of 18. Read her full bio on the contributor’s page.
Ubon Roark was the son of a southeast Missouri farmer. His family was known for their summer barbeque tradition. The Roark family cooked a whole hog or a side of beef ribs each summer and used Ubon’s mother’s barbeque sauce recipe. Legend has it that his father, Lute, would mix up the sauce in a #3 washtub and stir with a boat paddle used possibly the day before at the family’s fishing hole.
Ubon took his family’s
traditions to heart. After purchasing a home in Yazoo City he built a round barbeque pit from bricks and covered it to look like a wishing well. One of my earliest memories is of standing next to my granddad, Ubon, while he cooked chicken. He always had Red Rose Sausage ready when I peeked over the grill.
On Friday night before this year’s 10th annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party I watched with wonder as my dad, Garry Roark, cooked chicken on the grill while my son, Jacob, ‘helped.’ Jacob and Garry were prepping chicken for the launch party for our Ubons Sauce. 150 of our friends stopped by to help us celebrate the release of our old, but improved sauce.
The Big Apple BBQ Block Party started with a ringing of the dinner bell on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 11:00 am. Danny Meyer, creator of the block party wore a shirt that said “If you build it, they will come…” and boy did they. Thousands of New Yorkers turned out to try some of the best barbeque in the country. Barbeque superstars like Mike Mills, John Stage, Kenny Callahan, Chris Lilly and Myron Mixon were on site with another dozen top-notch pitmasters.
The pitmaster’s space is a strange place to sit during a festival of this size. People wait in line for your food. They are so happy when they glimpse one of the famous pitmasters. Talking with one of the pitmasters can even sometimes be just as exciting as meeting a professional athlete.
We work hard getting ready and through the Big Apple BBQ Block Party. We have a strong group of friends who make it possible for my dad to have his rock star moments. It’s so exciting to see a man whose dream is coming true before your very eyes. I saw my dad’s moment. My son Jacob stood next to him while he cooked chicken for our launch party. Through the smoke, I saw Daddy hand Jacob a piece of Red Rose Sausage and fully understood that some traditions will never die.