Monday, February 23, 2009

The TRUE BBQ – Passion and Protein

NBBQA was filled with some great presentations from some truly passionate BBQ folks. It’s easy to se why they do what they do. But being in Austin also fosters dreams of trekking to some of the BBQ icons that are just a drive away. On Friday, February 20th, we had a little time to kill in the afternoon so several of us who hadn’t had the fortune of taking the bus tours earlier in the week thought we’d try some of those BBQ places we’d only heard about.

The Players

Dave Raymond – Dave together with his brother created Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. He’s from Chicagoland, so I already had run into him at various BBQ events in Chicago. He’s a man hungry for understanding any and everything BBQ. He’d been to many of the places before so he graciously volunteered to be a guide of sorts, or at least the guy who knew where to go.

Kelly Wertz – Head Cook of 4 Legs Up BBQ out of Great Bend, Kansas. Better yet, Kelly is the reigning Jack Daniels Champion. He has a restaurant in Great Bend and under his quiet demeanor lies a hunger for providing the simple pleasure of excellent BBQ.

Danielle Dimovski – DivaQ. – Canadian BBQ champion and a person so filled with passion for BBQ. Her spirit is like that of a west Texas mustang. Hang on because she’s going to blaze a path where this is none. The energy she exudes is contagious and she knows BBQ.

Chris Jones – A young man from Midland Texas. He became our official Texas ambassador. A man of few words, yet a pride very deep, and when he spoke, words of wisdom and knowledge flowed. That cowboy pride was the perfect addition to this hungry crowd.

What made this amazing was these 5 folks really didn’t know each other at all prior to coming to Austin. But a little fate, a little luck, and a desire to understand True BBQ brought these 5 together. We piled into Chris’ truck and asked Dave where to…Taylor was the response; a couple buttons into the GPS and off we went.

With Stevie Ray Vaughn playing on the CD, low volume, our conversations were fast and furious. There was an enthusiasm about trekking to these places of lore. We’d heard of them, read about them, seen them on TV, our friends has told us of them, now it was our turn to search of True BBQ.

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