I went to the Hangtown Winterfest over the 4 day weekend of February 12 through February 14th, presented by the California Barbecue Association (CBBQA) and had the opportunity to reconnect with some friends and meet some new people as well. One of my purposes of being there was to meet up with Devin Theobald and his new BBQ team Humboldt Smoke BBQ. These three guys are competing from the far northern corner of the state and travelled a fair distance to participate in their first competition. Here is a shot of the crew and their UDS.
Here is the team at the start of the competition, getting their UDS primed up and loading in the meat. During the early part of the competition, I also had time to meet up with John Chips of The Drunk Uncles (also his first comp.) and his son Tom, who was there to judge the BBQ. John had his CBBQA famous 'Sticky Pickles' and 'Cherry Bombs' and a aperitif called Apple Pie Spice schnapps. I had to leave John's site before I had too much of that apple pie spice schnapps.
First up was chicken, one of the tough categories for many competitors. Here is a shot of the preparation of the turn in box and the actual box, which got even more touch up after the photo shoot.
I thought this box ended up looking good and it did garner a few 8's in appearance, a very good first effort. The taste was there as well. Sadly the skin was a little chewy on one side and it came down to what side was bitten that gave the judge a sense of the texture of the chicken. This was good for 22nd, the one category that the rookies finished out of the top 20 in a field of 39 teams. More to follow...