2013 KCBS Banquet

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27th KCBS Annual Banquet & Trade Show

Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO

January 18 & 19, 2013

By Donna Fong

Once a year, the Kansas City BBQ Society invites its members to gather and celebrate the hard work of their staff, the competition cooks, judges, representatives and sponsors. In 2012, the banquet was held in San Diego, giving California members the luxury of experiencing a national event at home. The banquet returned to Kansas City this year and so did a number of California teams, who were honored.

A $48 cab ride will get you from the International airport to the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Kansas City where the event is held. The hotel has been newly remodeled and has the feel of a much smaller boutique hotel even though there are 730 rooms. When we arrived, there was a host to greet us as we waited to be registered. The reception area had a very small footprint, and was modern and intimate. As we waited, we were surrounded by guests in full length ball gowns and tuxedos. A formal known as the Snow Ball was also being held on the second floor. We felt a bit out of place amongst all of the glitz and glamour. The hotel staff recognized us as barbecue people and pushed us up to the third floor where the banquet was being held.

On Friday, was the second annual Scavenger Hunt in the Hotel Lobby. Afterwards, Mike & Christine Peters gave a 5 year review of the Great American BBQ Tour. And then the night ended with a KCBS Annual Meeting and Board Meeting.

On Saturday was an Organizer’s roundtable, followed by a Representative meeting and then the always exciting contest raffle, where members buy tickets for a chance for free entry to a KCBS contest. The chaos really begins when members trade free entries for money or other contest entries should the entry they got not be local. Troy Black gave a brief talk about this year’s Sam's club National BBQ Tour and then there was a Lifetime members reception followed by cocktails.

The fully plated banquet dinner began promptly at 6:45pm which ran concurrently with speeches from KCBS president Candy Sue Weaver, representatives from Sam’s and the board members. Candy gave a great speech that was both welcoming and humble. She congratulated those of us who won. Though she was not among the recipients that evening, Candy thanked us for giving her the opportunity to serve as KCBS President, which she considered her greatest honor. Mike Peters was our host for the evening and had the difficult task of holding the attention of 500+ members while he announced the winners of each category.

The full sit down dinner had pre-assigned seating. I had the pleasure of sitting with two of California’s finest, KCBS representatives and California Hall of Famers, Kathleen and Kelly McIntosh from San Diego. It was nice to enjoy a long evening with the two of them and not have to worry about anything related to cooking. Sitting at a table diagonal from us was Sterling Ball and Dave Malone.

Our dinner consisted of a salad, chicken breast, steak, green beans, potatoes, a dinner roll and iced tea. There was also a slice of cake to finish off our palate. As we ate, the top 25 Teams in each meat category and overall are called to receive an acrylic block celebrating the year long achievement. The KCBS awards banquet is unlike the Oscars in that everyone present already knows who has won. Even so, it can be hard to connect a team name with faces, particularly if you live as far west as we do here in California. California teams don’t have the advantage of a dense population of contests each year. Many teams travel long distances up and down the great state and often into Arizona and Nevada to accumulate enough points to be considered a top 25 team. Though only the top 10 contests are used for total points, most teams have to compete in at least twice as many contests to be a contender. The teams that were gathered here in Kansas City have fought very hard yearlong to earn these top honors.

This year’s honors went to four teams from home. California’s 2012 Team of the Year, Matt Dalton of Left Coast Q from Banning, CA was 21st overall with 3 GC, 4 RGC and placed 1st in a category 8 times (3 times in chicken and 2 times in pork and 3 times in brisket). Harry Soo of Slap Yo' Daddy from Diamond Bar, CA with a 20th overall & 1st in chicken overall has won 4 GC, 1 RGC, and placed 1st in a category 6 times (4 times in chicken and 2 in ribs). Dave Malone of All Sauced Up from Valencia, CA with a 4th in chicken overall and 20th in ribs overall has won 4 GC, 1 RGC and placed 1st in a category 9 times (6 times in chicken, 2 times in ribs and 1 time in brisket). Sterling Ball of Big Poppa Smokers from Coachella, CA with a 23rd overall in ribs has won 1 GC (the big one at the Royal), 2 RGC and placed 1st in a category 8 times (2 times in ribs, 2 times in pork and 4 times in brisket).

The California BBQ Association would like to congratulate all of its BBQ teams for a great 2012 competitive year. May 2013 be filled with as much success, fun and adventure as it did last year. Safe travels and good cooking!

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