Indiana State Championship Cook-Off

Pro division teams compete
for coveted state title

Pepperitaville’s Trobaughs turn
passion for grilling into competition

By Konnie McCollum
Contributing Writer

(Aug. 11, 2006) – The Indiana State Barbecue Cook-Off Championship is a national contest sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the world’s largest international organization of barbecue enthusiasts.

Connie & Todd Trobaugh

Photos by Don Ward

Pepperitaville’s Connie and Todd Trobaugh
of Kokomo, Ind., have become serious
rib-cooking competitors.

The Madison Ribberfest will once again play host to this prestigious event on Aug. 18-19, with judging beginning at noon Saturday, Aug. 19. More than 50 professional teams from around the country are expected to compete for the title of Grand Champion and an opportunity to participate in the American Royale, the KCBS World Championship, held in October at Kansas City, Mo. The winner also qualifies for the Jack Daniels World Championship Barbecue Contest, held in October in Lynchburg, Tenn.
Pepperitaville, a husband-wife team of Todd and Connie Trobaugh of Kokomo, Ind., will be among the pro teams competing in Madison for this coveted state title. Last year, the team had its best showing, finishing sixth in overall scoring. They placed first in pork ribs and third in chicken. They also picked up a check for placing third in desserts.

Todd, a salesman for a utility supply company, and Connie, a secretary in the principal’s office at Kokomo High School, love to spend their spare time experimenting with various spices and recipes.
“We just love to cook, and we let our children and friends do the taste testing,” Connie Trobaugh said. She said they do a lot of weekend barbecuing.
She laughingly recalled that on a recent Sunday, her adult son was driving through the neighborhood when he smelled a scrumptious aroma wafting down the street, and he just knew she was at home cooking something on the grill. He had to stop by and see what it was.
The Trobaughs got started in cooking contests by doing local chili competitions. They grow their own peppers and buy their spices in bulk to blend.
Connie said the team chose the name “Pepparitaville” for their chili competitions, and it just carried over into the barbecue cook-offs as well.

Charles Krininger

Photo by Don Ward

Charles Krininger holds out a sample
of pork for KCBS judges to see
during last year’s Ribberfest.

They worked on various chili recipes and came up with what they thought was a winning combination. She said they use a simple “trial and error test” to see what works. She said they decided “to jump in with both feet” and skip the amateur competitions to go straight for the professional ones.
That strategy seems to be working. In 2004, they won first place at the Kokomo Red Hot & Wild Chili Cook-Off, and in this year’s competition at the same cook-off, they won first place in several categories.
The team decided to try barbecue recipes in 2004, and in fact, that year’s Madison Ribberfest was their first ever barbecue competition. Connie said they were absolutely thrilled with how well they finished; Pepparitaville took Grand Champion in the Fiesta Grill Challenge.
In 2005, the team finished first in Ribs, third place in Chicken, and third place in Dessert at the Madison Ribberfest, and took Grand Champion in “Anything But” at a Carmel, Ind., competition.
The Trobaughs travel and compete in about one competition a month from March through October of every year. Connie said they used to joke when they got started that they looked like the “Beverly Hillbillies” because they had everything packed in the back of a pickup truck. Now she said they have their own cooker and a hauler with a kitchen, bath and sleeping areas.
The Trobaughs have a retail license and are working on plans “in the near future” to sell their salsa, rubs, marinades and barbecue sauces. Connie said, “We are constantly working to improve our products, and we just love what we are doing.”
The Trobaughs say they are excited about the 2006 Madison Ribberfest. They are hoping to become the Grand Champion and earn a spot at the KCBS World Championship Cook-off.
Shawn Auxier, co-chairman of Ribberfest’s pro cooking competition along with Drew Garrett, said he expects more than 50 teams to participate in this year’s Indiana State Championship. As of press time on Aug. 10, 54 teams had registered. By having more than 50 teams in a KCBS contest, the points are tripled for those teams at the Ribberfest who are also participating in a series of other events throughout the year. That means more teams may enter at the last minute, once they hear that the Madison event will offer triple points, Auxier said.
Each team pays a $200 entrance fee in Madison and works toward winning cash prizes in several categories totaling $10,500. The team that wins the most points in the four main categories is declared the Grand Champion and receives an automatic spot in the KCBS American Royale.
Those four main categories are: chicken, pork ribs, pork butt or shoulder and beef brisket. At the Madison Ribberfest, officials have added several other optional categories, including “anything but,” dessert and sauces. Auxier explained that a committee chose the themes of each of those categories.
For example, in the “Anything But” category this year, the theme will be seafood. The “Dessert” category has an apple theme.
Cash and awards will be given to the top 10 finishers in each KCBS category as well as Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion. The top three teams will receive cash and awards in Dessert, BBQ Sauce and Anything But. The awards will be presented during a ceremony inside the Brown Gym and later announced on the Blues Bash stage at 4 p.m. The actual cooking, which will be done on either wood or charcoal fires, will start on Friday, Aug. 18. Teams will stay up all night cooking the meat and then prepare the entries for judging.
Meats will begin coming in to the Brown Gym for judging at 11 a.m. Saturday. More than 50 KCBS-certified judges will be required to determine the overall winners in each category. Entries are judged based on appearance, tenderness/texture and taste.

• To learn more about pro cooking competitions and the Kansas City Barbeque Society, visit: www.kcbs.us.

2006 Pro Cooking Teams
Team, Captain, Hometown
Entered as of 8-10-06
• Aunt Moomoo’s BBQ, John Hurst, Martinsville, Ind.
• Bar-B-Quau, Mike Wozniak, Brimfield, Ill.
• Bibee Team, Selena Bibee, Clearfield, Ky.
• Bird’s Smokehouse BBQ, David Williams, Daleville, Ind.
• Blind Rooster Seasonings, Brian Richardson, Columbus, Ind.
• Buttrub.com, Bryon Chism, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
• Egg & The Family Stone, Mike Stone, Prospect, Ky.
• Falls City Smokers, Wendell Thomas, Smithfield, Ky.
• Fumo Comedo, J. Scott Jackson, Covington, Ky.
• G Spot Smokers, Brian Graham, Westfield, Ind.
• Gem City Smokers, Eric Soller, Centerville, Ohio
• Governor’s BBQ, Gary Roberts, Nashville, Tenn.
• Grill Sergeants, Lance Givens, Indianapolis
• Hickory Flats BBQ, Paul Everman, Versailles, Ind.
• Hog Heaven, George Cook, Cincinnati
• Hoosier Hogs, Fred Edwards, Valparaiso, Ind.**
• Hope’s B&B BBQ Factory, Brad Lucas, Hope, Ind.
• Hoss’s BBQ, Robert Gatts, Indianapolis
• JD’s Smokers, Jim Ellis, Fishers, Ind.
• Jim Dandy & the BBQ Rescue, James Emig, Sharonville, Ohio
• Jimmy’s Hog Pen, Jim Weaver, Centerville, Ohio
• Kingpins Smokehouse, David Siefker, Vernon, Ind.
• Monty Pigthon & The Holy Grill, Sid Wibbels, Fisherville, Ky.
• Moon Swiners, Chad Hayden, Taylorsville, Ky.
• Pepperitaville, Todd & Connie Trobaugh, Kokomo, Ind.
• Pig Pak, Mike Deshong, Lexington, Ind.
• Pork of the North, Lawrence Spagnuolo, Saginaw, Mich.
• “R” Gang, Ron Taylor, W. Chester, Ohio
• Ribrunners, Ron Yater, Martinsville, Ind.
• Rinky dink Smokers, Rick Callahan, Greensburg, Ind.
• Rub ‘N Que, Randy Lindenberg, Steeleville, Ill.
• S’all Good Smokers, Greg Shell, Leo, Ind.
• Shigs-In-Pit, Todd Grantham, Fort Wayne, Ind.
• Shooter Flatch’s Hoosier Hot Shots, Daleville, Ind.
• Smoke Break BBQ, Tom Cuneo, Columbus, Ind.
• Smoke Hawgs, Rick Reynolds, Louisville, Ky.
• Smoked Signals, Doug Spiller, Madison
• Smokin’ Irish, Tom Donnellon, Cincinnati
• Smokin’ Q, Charles Wolven, Glenwood, Ill.
• Smokin’ T’s, Troy Heitmayer, Mt. Vernon, Ill.
• Smoky River BBQ, Roger Mogg, Spiceland, Ind.
• Snake Pit BBQ, Jeff Toler, Carmel, Ind.
• Stink-Eye BBQ, James Caldwell, Morgantown, Ind.
• Sunset Smokers, Monty Anderson, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
• Team Cleary, Keith Cleary, Hanover, Ind.
• Ulcer Acres, Randy Twyford, Jacksonville, Ill.
• Wildcat BBQ, Chris Cammack, Madison, Ind.
• Zack’s Century 21 River Valley, Mike Weeks, Franklin, Tenn.
• ZZ-Que, Robert Creech, Columbus, Ind.
** = Past Grand Champion

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