Q-Fest 2014 California BBQ Association Q-Fest 2014 â€¨February 7, 8, 9â€¨East Shore RV, Lake Puddingstone â€¨San Dimas, California
When invited to a barbecue most are excited to head to a party that is going to serve up some great food hot off the grill, have a few beverages and a great time with family and friends. CBBQA members and friends experience great BBQ throughout the year but a special event that we affectionately call Q-Fest is the opportunity to enjoy great BBQ and friends outside a competition setting while celebrating team accomplishments and honoring those that have made exceptional contributions to and for the CBBQA.
On Friday, February 7th the party began at the East Shore RV Park inside Frank. G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, CA. Bill Keyes, (Tropical Heat) and I were the first ones to arrive and had made plans to also attend the NHRA Winternational Drag Races just a few miles away from the Q-Fest site. By the time we returned the party was well underway with two bonfires blazing and about 50 folks from our BBQuemunity all set up.
Kevin and Debbie Oâ€™Grady (Royal Smokin Hot BBQ) had their margarita machine working and offered all a choice of leaded or unleaded margaritas. Our host for the 17th consecutive year, Dan Cannon (BBQ By Dan), announced that dinner would be served. Dale and Tammy Ginos (When Pigs Fly) had set up tables in their camp to host the Friday night Dinner buffet. There were many items to choose from while taking a sample of each resulted in a very full plate. The creativeness of our members in the kitchen must be commended. A dessert table was set up with more amazing treats.
After dinner, everyone made their way back to the bonfires. Tim McDonald (Rusty Barrel BBQ) and family supplied a pickup truck full of firewood to keep the fire pits burning for the whole weekend. Most folks attending spent the remainder of the evening socializing, talking, laughing and enjoying the company of friends.
One of the biggest highlights of Q-Fest is skunk sightings at night. Stories are told by anyone who has attended a Q-Fest of skunks searching for scraps throughout the campsites. One story was told about Moe Lyons, (Left Coast Q) staying up all night while cooking a whole hog. It was told that he had to climb on top of their table as he watched 33 skunks or one skunk 33 times invade his campsite.
Soon it was time for some rest and people began to retire to their motor homes, trailer and tents. My wife and I slept under our canopy. I can be a light sleeper and was awakened 4 different times throughout the night, twice by skunks, once by a raccoon and lastly by my wife having to use the restroom. During her absence I spotted, some sort of cat streak across my gaze. It was too fast and not enough light to determine exactly what it was, but it managed to keep the skunks away for the rest of the night.
Saturday is the big day for Q-Fest. Steve Madaule (All Hogs Go To Heaven) and John Bracamonte, (Brazen BBQ) did a great job cooking bacon and eggs for breakfast. In fact they cooked so much bacon, Steveâ€™s pit erupted with a grease fire hot enough to curl the paint off the top of his smoker. Breakfast had many highlights with biscuits and gravy receiving many accolades.
Many day camper people began to arrive Saturday morning. The crowd had more than doubled. At 2pm it was time to eat again. This meal doesnâ€™t get the distinction of being called lunch. Oh no, this extravaganza is called â€śearly dinnerâ€ť. With everyone submitting a dish or more, there were many more choices as compared to Friday night dinner. I decided on a new strategy for this meal. There was no way one could sample everything as there was just too many food choices displayed. My strategy was to go light and save myself for the dinner planned for later that evening. The food was incredible. Beef loin, pork loin, chicken, turkey, lasagna, 3 different Mac & Cheeses, salads, desserts and so much more. There were 5 or six tables set up for the buffet, I think I made it to the end of the second table when my plate reached maximum capacity.
Todd Eaves, (O.T.W. BBQ) was sitting across from me eating this huge chocolate cake which he gave rave reviews. I had to try it. I go over to the dessert section of the buffet and cut off a small wedge of chocolate cake. I hear Steph Franklin , (Simply Marvelous BBQ) say â€śOh Steve, donâ€™t leave without trying Jamieâ€™s raspberry barsâ€ť. I had to try them also.
Soon it was time for the CBBQA 2013 ToY and Roy Awards. Our President, Steph Franklin along with a few of the 2013 BOD members presented the awards.
Andy Allen (Rooftop BBQ) did a fabulous job in procuring the awards for the 2013 winners. The ToY and RoY awards were colorful flame trophies. Clear acrylic flames of varying sizes etched with the team names were awarded to top finishers in each category. Beautiful plaques also etched with team names were awarded to the remaining top 10 teams. Medals were awarded to the top 20 overall.
Rookie of the Year- Son of Smoke, Zak Galiste Team of the Year- Left Coast Q, Matt Dalton 1st Place Chicken- Simply Marvelous, Steph Franklin 1st Place Ribs-Left Coast Q, Matt Dalton 1st Place Pork- Steve Madaule, All Hogs Go To heaven 1st Place Brisket-Jason Miranda, Zzyzx BBQ Hall of Fame Inductee-Steve Madaule, All Hogs Go To heaven Judge of the Year-Tracy Allen Brent Walton Award-Ardith and Ted Richardson, All Hogs Go To Heaven Presidentâ€™s Award- Donna Fong, Butchers Daughter and Tim Wong, Dead Pig Walking
Two Presidentâ€™s Service awards were given for outstanding service to our organization. Donna Fong was the first recipient. She is a wonderful compassionate person donating time and energy working for the betterment of the association. Donnaâ€™s influence and rational thinking were a welcome addition to the 2013 BOD where she served as Vice President.
The second Presidential Service award was given to Tim Wong. Tim was probably a major factor in raising money for CBBQA sponsored childrenâ€™s charities through his organization of the backyard class, the CBBQA Competition class and he was instrumental on the website as a global administrator.
Also awarded was the Judge of the year award. Tracy Allen was the first recipient of this award for her dedication in the judging tent as a MCJ , teacher and mentor and volunteer to the association as coordinator of business memberships. Tracy was able to accept her award via Skype while she was at work Saturday.
The CBBQA also welcomed a new member to the Hall of Fame. Steve Madaule was honored for his years of service to the association and his commitment to California BBQ. A friend to everyone, a mentor to most and just a whole lot of fun to be around.
The most touching award was given to Ted and Ardith Richardson. Ted and Ardith received the Brent Walton Award. I never had the opportunity to meet Brent, but the stories of this great man and how he lived for BBQ in California are shared by Ted and Ardith. If you are ever fortunate enough to be parked near the Richardsonâ€™s you need to take the time to chat with them. Just wonderful people that consistently exemplify the good in people and what BBQ is all about.
Saturday night dinner included a prime rib smoked by Kevin Oâ€™Grady which was awesome. I also had chili which was excellent.
In closing, a special thank you to Dan Cannon for organizing this event and for his dedication to assuring Q-Fest is a success. Dan announced he will again host Q-Fest 2015. He noted that due to management changes at the RV Park it will be
necessary to reserve your spot, commit and pay, by January 1st, 2015 to guarantee your requested space at Q-Fest 2015.
Submitted by Steve Wilson