After a long layoff, Q Haven will be returning to the competition circuit October 2o and 21, cooking at the "Battle of the BBQ Brethren" in Sayville, NY. This has been a long layoff, with our last event the Hudson Valley Ribfest in mid August. Since then, we have gotten some practice in, and I'm really starting to get the competition bug again.
After the Hudson Valley Ribfest, that bug was nowhere in sight.
This is our second year of competition BBQ. The first year, we only did five events. This year, we did five events in the span of eight weeks. This would have been fine, if I didn't have a full time, supervisory position with my company, and a part time bartending job. After the Hudson Valley Ribfest, I was burned out.
Burned out, and frustrated that I hadn't achieved the success that we did in 2006. We won our second ever competition, and went to the Jack Daniel's invitational. No wins in 2007.
Now that I have taken a few weeks off, it has given me a chance to really evaluate the season, and I have a very different view.
First, I looked at our overall finishes in the KCBS BBQ events: 7th in New Hampshire (34 teams), 4th in Lake Placid (36 teams), 7th at Harpoon (40ish teams) 6th in Maine (21 teams) and our only really bad finish, 22nd in New Paltz (57 teams). We dramatically improved our grilling program, almost taking reserve grand champions at Maine and getting numerous grilling calls. In fact, we got calls at every contest we attended. And I can't forget that we took reserve grand champions at the Winter Sizzler back in January.
Looking at everthing, it has been a pretty good year. We may not be going back to the Jack Daniel's this year, but I think we established that Q Haven is a competitive team that will be a fixture in the New England BBQ scene for the forseeable future.
With those positive vibes, we begin preparing for the Battle of the BBQ Brethren. The team list is growing, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there.