Columbia teams dish it out at Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ Festival

Friday, October 1, 2010 | 12:37 p.m. CDT; updated 4:30 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 1, 2010
Up in Smoke barbecue team member William Bryan slices sausage at the team's station before last year's Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ Festival judging, which took place on Sept. 26, 2009. The team, which is from Marshall, has been barbecuing together for about 15 years.

COLUMBIA – Sixteen Columbia teams are competing in the barbecue competition this weekend at the Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ Festival. Here's information on the local entries and what they're bringing to the table.

Eddie's Halfway Smoke House

If you go

Beginning Friday, tickets for the festival are $18 for a one-day pass and $28 for a weekend pass.

Tickets are available for purchase on the Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ Festival website, as well as at all Boone County National Bank branches, all Missouri Gerbes and Dillions stores and The Blue Note box office.

General admission will call is at Seventh and Cherry streets during festival hours.

Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.

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Team: Nick Diefenback, 25, Eddie Vomound, 25, Scott Schutte, 26, Bryan Stuckenschneiber, 26

Categories: Beans, brisket, chicken, pork and ribs

Experience: no prior experience

Barbecue philosophy: "If it looks good, it probably tastes good," Diefenback said.

Secret weapon: "A little bit of luck."

Best barbecue ever: "Probably my dad's. He's got some pretty good ribs, although I think mine are probably a little better than his now."

Funniest barbecuing moment: "Last week at around 5 o'clock in the morning, I opened the smoker door to turn some charcoal over and I bent over and managed to knock myself out on the door and split my head open. Maybe it's not a funny story, but I laughed about it. Barbecuing at 5 a.m. is not easy."


Team: Mike Smith, 55, Brenda Smith, 52, Meggie Smith, 22 and Jake Hess, 24

Categories: Beans, brisket, chicken, pork and ribs

Experience: fourth year of competitive barbecuing

Barbecue philosophy: "Low and slow," or cooking the meat over low heat for a long time.

Secret weapon: "We're going to have a lot more fun than anyone else, and that's what counts," Mike Smith said.

Best barbecue ever: "My ribs at home, by far."

Grillers in the Mist

Team: Paul Kanago, 51, and 10 friends

Categories: Beans, brisket, chicken, pork and ribs

Experience: second year at Roots 'N' Blues

Barbecue philosophy: "It's really just to have a good time. We were motivated to enter last year after seeing the newspaper's declaration that the city was waiving the open container law downtown for the festival," Kanago said.

Secret weapon: "Our secret this year is actually going to be putting sauce on the meat. Last year, we thought we would do some pure barbecue smoking style without sauce, and we finished in last place last year, which means we are actually guaranteed to do equally well or better than last year."

Best barbecue ever: "We take a road trip every year to Lonnie Ray's in Harrisburg, and that's the best barbecue I've ever eaten. It's worth the trip."

Funniest barbecue moment: "Last year we converted a vegetarian Missourian reporter. We actually got her to try multiple bits of our barbecue, and she really liked it."

Tiger Dawg BBQ

Team: Dan Fowler, 44, and Greg Jarvis, 39

Categories: Beans, brisket, chicken, pork and ribs

Experience: third year in the competition

Barbecue philosophy: "Our philosophy really is to just have fun and turn out good food," Fowler said.

Secret weapon: "Our secret is that we've cooked together for 15 years and learned a lot by trial and error. We've cooked so much together that we have narrowed it down to what we think is a really good product."

Best barbecue ever: "I'm going to go with Rosedale in Kansas City. I really, really, really like the sauce they use. It's just the right mix between being vinegary and sweet."

Funniest barbecue moment: Last year, the team won the ribs category at the Roots 'N' Blues contest. "For two guys who have never entered a barbecue contest before and picked their first one as Roots 'N' Blues, coming out winning ribs for our first time was pretty funny."


Team: Doug Cawley, 35, Richard Kinser, 35, Kyle Ahrens, 28, Grey Graybill, 28

Categories: Brisket, chicken, pork and ribs

Experience level: seventh barbecue competition

Barbecue philosophy: "Our philosophy is to have good camaraderie with our friends and also be competitive at the same time," Cawley said.

Secret weapon: "Our barbecue rub. We each have our own individual rubs for each specific meat."

Best barbecue ever: Keegan's in Kansas City, which recently closed. "They had a really good sauce that I liked. It was a sweet sauce with a hint of vinegar, but it was really good. I grew up on that stuff."

Funniest barbecue moment: "This weekend might be the first competition where it hasn't been too rainy or too windy to the point where our tents would actually blow away, or it was absolutely freezing outside."

Team Ess

Team: Chris Landwear, 36, Jason Rode, 30, Curtis Shuman, 26

Categories: Beans, brisket, chicken, ribs and pork.

Experience: fourth year competing

Secret weapon: "Having a late night on Friday," Landwear said.

Best barbecue ever: "I'd probably have to go with Famous Dave's down in Texas."

Funniest barbecue moment: "Last year one of the owners of our organization fell asleep on a bag of charcoal. It was pretty funny, but you had to be there to appreciate it. I have several other stories that would probably be best not to publish."

Big Adjustment

Team members: Mark Hunsaker, 51, Fred Mottaz, 55, Mark Jarvis, 50, Linda Duffy Moser, 55

Categories: Brisket, chicken, pork and ribs

Experience: sixth competition

Barbecue philosophy: "Have fun, enjoy the environment and the food," Hunsaker said.

Secret weapon: "We're just focusing on the meat selection and meat preparation."

Best barbecue ever: Locally, Buckingham's and Bandana's

Funniest barbecue moment: "When we were at the Boone County Fair this summer, I heard what I thought was firecrackers but it was actually shooting nearby. You just never know what you're going to run into."

Mizzou BBQ Team

Team: Trevor Nichols, 22 and 13 undergraduate students and 2 graduate students

Categories: Beans, brisket, chicken, pork and ribs

Experience: fifth year in competitive barbecue

Secret weapon: "We study this. I myself am a food science major and I take a scientific approach to all of our barbecue. "

Funniest barbecue moment: "No stories probably appropriate for the paper."

Sweet and Sassy

Team: Mike Watson, 42, Mark Johnston, Paul Musket

Categories: Beans, brisket, chicken, pork and ribs.

Experience: third Roots 'N' Blues competition

Barbecue philosophy: "I like it when it's a little sweet and a little spicy," Watson said.

Secret weapon: "We've got a new chicken recipe we're trying out, using a chicken jacuzzi. You cook it on the barbecue in a container and let the chicken percolate, and it comes out pretty good."

Best barbecue ever: "Well, our barbecue of course. That's easy."

Funniest barbecue moment: "When you stay up all night, it gets sort of fuzzy. It's just a lot of fun hanging out and visiting with a lot of the other barbecuers. They're a real friendly group of people."

Jackwagon BBQ

Team: Scott Rowson, 33, Ryan Hildebrand, 28

Categories: Brisket, chicken, pork and ribs.

Experience: first competition

Barbecue philosophy: "I think it’s pretty simple. Our philosophy is don’t come in last and have a good time,” Rowson said.

Secret weapon: "Starting with the best ingredients and trying not to screw them up."

Best barbecue ever: "The best barbecue I’ve had was at Dreamland Barbecue in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where they just had ribs and no sides, just ribs and bread.”

The Missourian attempted to contact all sixteen local teams, but was unable to speak with Zou-B-Que, Bogey BBQ, Lucky's Bar-B-Que, Scuba Toast, May the Smoke Be With You and King Que.

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