I met so many wonderful people, including the venerable chef Paul Kirk, but by far my favorite "barbecue connection" was with the gals of Squeal of Approval. I'd read through the list of competitors in search of female teams to interview for the She's Smokin' sections of the book. We walked right into their full o' pink set up (even their smoker trailer is pink), and they stopped everything to talk with us and share their beer. As I write this, they are most likely taking a good luck shot right before their first turn-in. Turn-ins for the open begin at 12:00 noon. Betsy and Allison, I'm sending you good barbecue vibes right now.
The results for the Invitational are already in here. I'm interested in the team that placed 4th overall - Mt. Dora Bar-b-que Co. I have some family who used to live in the small town of Mt. Dora, FL.
Here are just a few pictures of my trip last year. Many were unfortunately lost with my laptop, but a few made it on to the stay-at-home computer.