Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Smoke Signals: Competition takes a back seat

Call it the other Fall Classic. Competitive barbecue is nearing the end of its spring-to-autumn season.

In that world, few contests are as prestigious as the annual American Royal in Kansas City, which hosts many of the best teams from around the country in an Invitational and an Open. The 31st annual Royal was held the weekend of Oct. 2 and 3, and while Washington-area teams didn’t exactly smoke the competition, one team did create a buzz off the field.

In the days leading up to the contest, DC’s Pork Barrel BBQ team, which competed in the Open, partnered with a Kansas City team called Pellet Envy to raise funds to finish out a patio for the USO at Fort Riley, Kan., home to some 18,000 soldiers from the First Infantry Division.

Money for a fenced outdoor space with grills and chairs dried up after the USO began remodeling a facility that ended up requiring $31,000 for a fire alarm system – far more than budgeted. Money was diverted from the planned completion of the outdoor space to help pay for the alarm system.

Pork Barrel learned about the situation from Rod Gray, the leader of Pellet Envy, which in 2009 was named Kansas City Barbecue Society’s team of the year. The title is achieved by winning the most points in competitions across the country. As in any sport, it is tough to defend a championship. And Pellet Envy is in a fierce battle against a team called QUAU for this year’s crown. The winner will be announced later this month.

On Thursday, Oct. 7, Pellet Envy and Pork Barrel gave the Fort Riley USO a new Horizon Classic smoker and a check for $6,072 raised primarily from teams on the barbecue circuit. The same day, the two teams set aside their competitive instincts and cooked barbecue together for 250 Fort Riley families.

“Our job is to make a home away from home" for soldiers, said Fort Riley USO Center director April Blackmon, adding that the renovation included building a computer lab, 10-seat movie theater, video game area and fireplaces. “What they’re doing will really help.”

Blackmon said they expect to have the patio completed by next spring.

-- Jim Shahin
(Follow me on Twitter.)

By Jim Shahin  | October 12, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Smoke Signals  | Tags:  Jim Shahin, barbecue  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Beer: Stone's tap takeover
Next: Chat Leftovers: A cocoa conundrum

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company