Below you will see an event summary for the 2009 season. This was a massive learning curve. I wanted to create something that would last beyond a year, mistakes, and tough decisions were made, but without those we wouldn’t have created the fairest competition circuit in the country.
Toby Shea, Director, IBQN
23rd & 24th May – First competition – BBQ HQ Tongham
This was an eye opener, the first competition which became the basis of all others held since. We had 5 teams that attended this event, 1 experienced pitmaster a few BBQ dabblers and one that had never cooked this style of BBQ before, and in fact borrowed all of the equipment to take part. I was great fun and there was under a point separating Grand and reserve champions. The feedback was positive with some constructive criticism that was taken on board. PitMasters was born.
25th & 26th July – PitMasters National Final – Rother Valley
Traveling up to Rother Valley to be part of their party in the park weekend, this was more about planning and logistics until the competition kicked off. We had increased our numbers to 7 teams for this event which was narrowly won by Crispy Critters made up of Andy Annat and Jeremy Fowler.
29th & 30th August – Society Social
What a great weekend! Pitmaster teams travelled from around the country to socialise and cook over an open pit for the weekend. Not only did we spit a whole lamb which was manually turned, cooked potatoes in a cage over the fire and experiment with various other meats and sides (ie pizza!). All of the kids joined in plucking, preparing and cooking some of the free range chickens kept onsite.
11th, 12th & 13th September – Beer Festival – Surrey Air Ambulance
We were asked to cater at a charity event in aid of Surrey Air Ambulance at the White Hart Public house in Tongham. Food was provided from 2pm until 10pm, menu included ribs, brisket, Philly cheese steaks and burgers. We managed to raise over £1,000 for this great cause.
26th September 2009 – Downe Scouts 80th Birthday
We were asked to cater for 400 people at the Downe Scout 80th birthday party after Downe receiving some ludicrous quotes. All 400 were fed within the designated 1 ½ hours, menu included pulled pork, wings, sausages and burger with a range of salad. Everything was cooked over wood and charcoal. A real success.
2nd, 3rd & 4th October 2009 – American Royal
A team made up of PitMaster head cooks took part at the American Royal invitational, led by Jackie Weight and Toby Shea, we achieved 87th out of 118 teams. This was the best result by a British team in an invitational during 2009.
23rd & 24th October 2009 – Jack Daniels Invitational
Crispy Critters represented us in our first year of competition after seeing off some strong competition in our national final. Their highest place main category was 24th place pork and finished 70th out of 80 teams.