while having fun grilling
Friday event gives locals
a fun way to enjoy Ribberfest
by Kristi Whitehill
cooking team includes
(from left) Greg
Withered, head chief
and Donnie Romans.
(Aug. 9, 2008) The Madison Courier-sponsored
Backyard BBQ Blast is a competition for grillers who just want to come
out and grill. Many stay in the amateur division with a focus on fun,
while others get bit by the grilling experience and move up to the professional
Daddy Bobs Burnt Offerings has been in the amateur division for
five years with no intent to move to the professional circuit. The team
started when Clifty Engineering was given a VIP tent. Clifty Engineering
sponsored an invitation for employees to come out and barbecue.
We tried it, and we had a good time that first year, so we kept
coming back, said Jennifer Thompson, head chief and veteran team
Greg Withered, a cook for Outback Steakhouse at the Kentucky Speedway,
joined the team last year. It was a blast to have people brag
on my cooking. People will take a sample and come back and ask me for
my secrets, he said.
Last year the team took third place in the game category.
Two years ago they were awarded the Miss Congeniality award. This year
the team has been retooled, and the members are expecting to see results
from the changes. They have added a new member to the team in Donnie
Romans, also a cook for Outback Steakhouse at the Kentucky Speedway.
This year we are going to up the tempo. We are out to get all
we can, Romans said.
In order to bring home first place, they will have to take it from last
years Best Team winner, Hog Rock.
Hog Rock members come from as far as Cincinnati. Each year they dress
up in Hawaiian gear, hand out lais and play rock music at their cooking
Amateur cooker Jerry Ralston of Madison is the lead chief for the team,
Shu-b-qu. He said winning isnt the only thing.
BBQ Blast Teams
for 2008 Madison Ribberfest
(Entries as of 8-7-08)
Sena Family Smokers; Don & Dave Sena; Cincinnati, Oh.
Nicks Pit; Matt & Nick Sena; Cincinnati, Oh.
Little Sisters Bar-B-Q; Traci & Gina Sena; Cincinnati,
Up-N-Smoke; John Webb; Vernon, Ind.
Buttrubbers BBQ; Chris Elrod; Shelbyville, Ind.
Olivia & Logans Finest; Roger Kavanaugh; Versailles,
Pig N Boots; Helen Bertsch; Waterford, Mich.
Daddy Bobs Burnt Offerings; Jennifer Thompson;
Smokey Treats; Jon Speckman; Cincinnati, Oh.
Shu-B-Que 1; Jerry Ralston, Madison, Ind.
Shu-B-Que 2; Jerry Ralston, Madison, Ind.
Backyard Grub Grillers, Merrill Simmerman, Indianapolis,
Pit Crew BBQ; Bill Stiltner; Clearfield, Ky.
Big Sams Pig Paint BBQ Charlie Hawkins; Louisville,
Smoke Eaters BBQ; Lynn Rekeweg; Beech Grove, Ind.
Bobs Sittin Chicken; Bob Stohlman; Cincinnati,
Steel Smokin BBQ; Don & Robyn Hollman; Butler,
Smokey Buoys Bar-B-Que; Jim McPherson; Scipio, Ind.
Pork-N-U BBQ 1; Todd Richards; Madison, Ind.
Pork-N-U BBQ 2; Todd Richards; Madison, Ind.
Hog Rock; Don & Loreda Pritchard; Fletcher, Ohio.
If you happen to win, then that is good. But the
satisfaction is in enjoying the food with friends and strangers.
This is the third year for his team that includes Rick Schulaey, Bob
Schmidt, Mike Griffin, Don Ward and Mark Schultz. This is a big
team, but then everyone can rotate in, so there is freedom to come and
He thought about going pro but reconsidered due to the travel, the all
night cooking and just the fact that the professional is more competitive.
Dave Dilk, Jason McAfee, Gary Liter are also members of the the team.
Dilk, who says he likes the competition of the Backyard Blast said,
Last year, we won Best Rub, but nothing we cooked that the rub
was on even placed.
Big Butt BBQ is not limited to the competition of grilling meat. McAfee,
known for his deep fried corn, said, It is the best corn you ever
had in your life.
by Kristi Whitehill
Butt BBQ (from left)
includes Steve Liter, Dave Dilk,
Jason McAfee and Gary Liter.
The four are from Madison.
For Gary Liter, the family time is the most important
part of the event. We are all family, and this is a good event
to get together with family.
Steve Creech, an amateur-turned-pro, warns amateurs that becoming
a serious smoker is additive. His first time competing was at
the 2004 Madison Ribberfest. He remembers a slight drizzle all day long.
I went around the corner and saw the big boys and thought I could
do this. He had cooked hogs on the Ohio River for 20 years
when he heard about the event through a friend. Even after moving to
Ohio, he still comes back for the Ribberfest.
Visitors are welecome to stroll the Backyard BBQ Blast and sample the
fare throughout the evening. The event will take place along Vaughn
Drive just east of the festival grounds. No Ribberfest wristband is
necessary to enter the event.
For information on entering the event,
call the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at (812) 265-2956
or visit: www.MadisonRibberfest.com.
Back to 2008 Ribberfest