Tuesday, July 28, 2009

South Carolina Barbeque Association

We are officially members of this fantastic state organization of barbeque enthusiasts. I was lucky enough to attend the annual meeting in Columbia, SC and meet some great people, learn more than I thought possible about judging barbeque, events, sauces, and even eat some great Columbia BBQ. The SCBA is the only barbeque association in the country that has an annual meeting for members. Lake High, Jr is the current President and Charter Member of the organization (I recognized him from the No Reservations piece that took Anthony Bourdain to Sweatman's BBQ in Holly Hill, SC) and he kept the meeting lively with stories, jokes, and news from the state of barbeque. The SCBA is generally called upon by SC communities that are interested in adding a BBQ Cook-Off to the annual festival or, in some cases, adding a BBQ event all alone. Lake negotiates with the event planners on dates and details. SCBA Members that have been trained as official judges are gathered to judge the event and other members serve as runners, Marshalls, and calculators. These jobs are all equally important to ensure a smooth event and a great outcome for all the BBQ competitors.
Some of the members of the SCBA are restauranteurs, business owners, competition cookers, and all lovers of barbeque. Most have been through the Jugding Seminar offered twice a year (we will attend in January) and work to become Master Judges.
I particularly enjoyed the sauce tasting that we did. I only wish we had done the mustard sauces first. As Lake said, "sauces will give you mouth fatigue the quickest." Lunch was provided by Belly's BBQ from Lexington, SC. It was fantastic. I didn't even put sauce on most of what I ate. The squash casserole was some of the best I have ever eaten. They also had BBQ chicken on the buffet that everyone commented was very good. I just figured it would take up room from the pork! While I met lots of great people, my highlight was getting Jack Waiboer's autograph.
If you saw the spot on SCETV's The Big Picture, then you know Jack Waiboer. They went into this man's backyard where he showed off his collection of smokers. Jack also is an instructor in the Carolina Pitmasters class. He is genuine and warm and was a little embarrased that I asked for his autograph!
All in all it was a great way to spend a Saturday. I look forward to attending more SCBA events and getting involved with this organization.

South Carolina Barbeque Association

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