2012 KCBS Banquet

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KCBS Banquet at Embassy Suites in San Diego

January 13 & 14, 2012

By Donna Fong

California had the rare opportunity to host the annual KCBS banquet this past weekend. The banquet is actually much more than just a banquet and CBBQA members came out to see what all of the fuss was about. 2012 board members, Scott Hares, Thom Emery and Ben Lobenstein were present. Veteran cooks, Steve Madule, Ardith & Ted Richardson, Andy Soto, Matt Dalton, Benny Aduato, and Bill Keyes were attending their first KCBS banquet. Even rookie pitmasters like Lamar Ware and Tim Wong came to check it all out. Of course, our own Dave Malone and Harry Soo could tell you what a real KCBS banquet is usually like (500 participants in freezing Kansas City weather) because they have been to several together.

The banquet is preceded on Friday by an open rules meeting, an annual meeting and finally the board meeting. Since the weather was agreeable, KCBS had a scavenger hunt where local judges Cynthia and Rex Sell took 3rd place.

Saturday, organizers like Scott Gomes, Henry Silvestre, Arlie Bragg, Kelleigh Strobel, Thom Emery, Skip and Cheryl Ramsden and Ben Lobenstein talked about logical and financial challenges that promoter are facing in this growing market. Big Poppa's Sterling Ball spoke to organizers about "upping their game" in creating a more fan friendly experience. Then the KCBS representatives had a meeting. A raffle contest for free entries to KCBS sanctioned contest is offered at $1 per ticket. Dave Bouska of Butcher BBQ said he bought $200 worth of tickets and won four contest entries. Two of those contests were new so the sport definitely isn’t just growing in California. If you end up winning an entry to a contest that isn’t local to your area and you don’t want to travel there, you can trade or sell your entry to others. There’s a list of 200 winners of different contests distributed that enables you to barter for entries. This all happened in one of the banquet rooms in the hotel. It gets a little chaotic and has the feel of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. After all of the fuss was over, members calmed down with free cocktails in the hotel lobby. For locals, the fact that the Niners had beaten the Saints already and New England was ending Tebow’s streak, also helped calm the nerves.

A short walk a few blocks away, we found ourselves under a large tent along the waterfront where John and Brad Bracamonte of Brazen BBQ Smokehouse & Bar served 180 hungry members an amazing buffet of Caesar salad, salmon, roasted pork loin, smoked kernel corn melody, roasted potatoes, bread pudding, chocolate nut squares. Each table was decorated with seashells and everyone received an elegant box of California’s own, Woodhouse Chocolates. Diners were reminded that the dinner was BYOB so we pulled out wine and Jack from our purses and drank up as the awards ceremony MC, Mike Peters of Here Piggy Piggy, introduced sponsors, new contests for this year and KCBS staff. The 2012 Board of Directors were announced and then the winners of the top 20 teams in individual categories and overall were called. Though it didn’t have the tension of a real awards ceremony because the winners knew who they were, it was nice to connect faces to team names and get a sense of who is who. First in chicken went to South Pork. First in pork ribs went to TruBud BBQ. QUAU was first in pork shoulder and Cool Smoke was first in brisket. Our own All Sauced Up, Dave Malone came in 11th in ribs, 17th in brisket and 21st overall in the country. Slap Yo’ Daddy’s Harry Soo came in 3rd in pork shoulder and 11th in brisket and 11th overall.

But the night belonged to the Dave Bouska of Butcher BBQ who came in 3rd overall, the totally amazing young and happy Pitmasters, Scott & Katy Nelson and Kris & Brandi Paulson from Mason City, Iowa, Swine Assassins who came in 2nd overall, and of course, Robert Magee from Prairie Village, Kansas, MUNCHIN HOGS@THE HILTON who was the KCBS TOY for 2012. Congratulations to the winners! And lastly, many thanks to outgoing KCBS BoD member Gene Goycochea who served as host to this year’s banquet and the volunteers who helped make it a big success.

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