2011 put us firmly on the map, with articles appearing in national newspapers (The Telegraph and Guardian) covering competition BBQ and BBQ Shacks success not only in competition but with the critics. Running the biggest BBQ event the country has ever seen, or likely to in the near future. We have really enjoyed a successful year. I was pleased to be able to announce a few sponsors, including Outdoorchef, Thermapen, HeatBeads, Booker and I.O.Shen Knives. I was not happy pursuing sponsors until we could show credibility and longevity, 2011 proved to be the year we could demonstrate both. Roll on 2012 which will be bigger and better!
Toby Shea, Director, IBQN
Saturday 19th March 2011 – PitMasters Cooking Class
The first BBQ Pitmasters cooking class took place on Saturday 19th March, starting at 9am and finishing at 5pm. The Days agenda included ribs, chicken, brisket and pork preparation. Then competition box presentation. Each person prepped the 4 main categories, chicken and ribs were cooked on site and the pork and brisket were available for attendees to take home to cook. The class was fully booked within a matter of days, and more will be added to the diary.
28th May 2011 – Mayhem in May – Pitmasters competition, Ready Steady Q, Kids Q
Our competitions are fun family affairs which take place over the course of a whole weekend. Friday nights are all about socialising with a some good friends and a few drinks, then on Saturday the meat is handed out and the serious business begins. Food is prepared and cooked over night and presented for judging around midday Sunday. teams cooked four categories, chicken, pork ribs, whole pork shoulder and brisket. There were also bonus categories for BBQ sauces and desserts. Congratulations to John Hargate from BBQ Shack who walked away with the PitMasters Grand Champion trophy.
1st – 3rd July 2011 – The Big Feastival – PitMasters, Ready Steady Q & Kids Q
We were asked by the Jamie Oliver foundation to put on 3 days of BBQ competitions at the Big Feastival on Clapham common between the 1st – 3rd July. The PitMasters exhibition teams were made up from top 10 teams that competed at Mayhem in May. We also ran 3 days our grilling series Ready Steady Q and kids Q totalling 96 competitors! This was by far the biggest weekend of Barbecue the UK has ever seen.
30th July 2011 – PitMasters Series Accumulator
Points from this competition were added to those of the national final in August to find the best and most consistent BBQ team in the country, the overall series winner went on to represent the UK at the Jack Daniels Invitational, Lynchburg, Tennessee in October. Congratulations to Adie Platts and team from Bite the Bullet who walked away with the Grand Champion trophy.
27th – 29th August – PitMasters National Final, Ready Steady Q & Kids Q
August Bank Holiday weekend was a huge weekend for BBQ in the UK. Our premier event of the year was held at Rudgwick Steam & Country Show. This was the season finale, not only did we hold our Pit Masters National Final, but Ready Steady Q and Kids Q finals. Rudgwick Steam & Country Show is one of the South East’s major summer attractions and 2011 celebrated its 25th show. It’s a family run event and one of the last remaining events of it’s kind, with over 1,000 exhibitors and attractions spread out over a huge site it was great fun for all the family. It was a tough battle with Miss Piggys walking away with the competition Grand Champion, but congratulations goes to John Hargate of BBQ Shack who were crowned series Grand Champion for the second year in a row.
21st & 22nd October 2011 – Jack Daniels Invitational
BBQ Shack showed great improvement this year, the objective to make sure the British team finished outside the bottom 10, with a respectable 67th out of 90, and beating all other European teams, we can start holding our head a little higher when it comes to invitational events. Roll on 2012!