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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 03-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
rubbbq
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Default Windy City BBQ Classic - Chicago, IL August 31st/September 1st, 2013

We're hosting the 2nd annual Windy City BBQ Classic in Chicago August 31st/September 1st, 2013. We hosted this event last year, downtown on the lakefront, and had a really great turnout. We had 20 teams, cooking authentic smoked BBQ the right way - over a hardwood/charcoal fire, competing for 1st place in Ribs, Chicken, and sauce. We brought in a 30' stage, had live music, cooking demonstrations, product giveaways, and a ton of fun.

This year's event will be held August 31st/September 1st, 2013, and we're expanding the event to include Brisket and Shoulder categories. We've also been declared a state championship by Gov. Pat Quinn's office - which makes us a qualifier for the Jack Invitational (and other national invite-only events).

We've expanded the event site this year, hosting Windy City BBQ Classic 2013 at historic Soldier Field (where the Chicago Bears play football). Directly on the lakefront, downtown Chicago - the setting couldn't be better.

We've also included a public sampling portion of the competition. We're having 30 teams - 10 of which will give public samples away (we buy the ribs, teams cook them) competing for peoples choice ($$ for that too).

In total, we're giving away $10,000 in prize money. Again, we're gonna have live music, cooking demonstrations, and product giveaways.

We've also added Lagunitas Brewery as a sponsor, and they will be providing all the beer for the event.

For the general public, it will be a ticketed event - Beer and BBQ all inclusive.

We opened registration a few weeks ago, and have already filled about 1/2 the spots.

If you'd like to compete, visit:

www.windycitybbqclassic.com

If you own a restaurant/catering company and would like to be part of the public sampling field to promote your brand and compete for people's choice, email me directly at jared@backcountryq.com.

Looking forward to another great year!
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Last edited by rubbbq; 03-11-2013 at 11:14 AM.. Reason: to use title/add location & date
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Unread 03-11-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
Ron_L
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Can I be on the 50 yard line?

I noticed in the application it says that the teams will receive 2 lbs of Mikeska Sausage but I didn't see mention of sausage anywhere else. Is that for our personal consumption or did I miss something?

Also, will electricity be provided for non-cooking use (lights, etc.) and how about access to water?
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Unread 03-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Can I be on the 50 yard line?

I noticed in the application it says that the teams will receive 2 lbs of Mikeska Sausage but I didn't see mention of sausage anywhere else. Is that for our personal consumption or did I miss something?

Also, will electricity be provided for non-cooking use (lights, etc.) and how about access to water?
Ron, I asked the same question on electric and also about water. Neither will be provided. It will be a dark dry night at the lakefront. I'm not sure if the spot they have chosen is lit, as they havent said which bears parking lot it will be in.

First place in each category gets paid, then the grand. Not sure about the reserve.

Not a KCBS event, garnish is not KCBS rules, Judging by bbq experts, may or may not be KCBS certified. Maybe its time to start practicing the parting of the pork and making sausage

I cooked last year with another team and it was right off the bike path on the lake front around fullerton, it was a really beautiful location.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinwestmont View Post
Maybe its time to start practicing the parting of the pork and making sausage
not sure what you mean?

Also, water will be provided. There will be electricity on-site, but we can't accommodate everyone's needs this year. If we find it's a common request, it will be something we consider adding in future years.

The lot is very well lit, public facilities are being provided (indoor plumbing and all)...we'll be playing music all weekend long, so if you wanted electric for that - we've got that covered. Did I mention Lagunitas Brewery is bringing as much cold beer as you can drink?

This event is in the adler lot, directly behind Soldier Field, on the lakefront - next to the planetarium/the harbor.

Any other ??, feel free to ask - I'm the guy with the info

Another data point - the basic 10x20 site is not limited...meaning, if you need more space, just ask - we have plenty of it. We just didn't want to spread it out too much by giving 30x30 spaces to guys cooking with a couple UDS's and a EZ-UP. We'll have teams of all sizes there, with a variety of different cookers - so just let us know your space requirements and we'll accommodate.

Quote:
Can I be on the 50 yard line?
Sorry Ron - not inside the stadium, we wanna be close to the water!
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Unread 03-11-2013, 12:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rubbbq View Post

Sorry Ron - not inside the stadium, we wanna be close to the water!
Darn!

I'm glad that water will be available. That's obviously important for sanitation.

Electricity is nice for lighting. Parking lot lights are good for general illumination, but if someone is going to be cooking overnight or prepping for an early start they really need more light than that. Will quiet generators be allowed?

I'm not sure if we will be able to make it or not yet, but if we did, would we be able to bring our toy hauler or would I have to rent a small trailer and cook under an EZ-Up? The toy hauler is 25' long.

Just a little feedback... I like the fact that first place in each category is $1,000, but even with ribs and chicken provided it will cost us around $500 (including the entry fee) if we decide to compete, and while we plan to win every competition we enter that's not reality , so being able to recover some of our costs with a top 5 finish is a big plus.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
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Generators are fine, we want you to have lights...

and I hear ya on the prize money. Last year, it was $500 1st, $250 2nd - no GC money cause we only had 2 categories. We've added 2 paying categories, and only raised the fee by $50...and our goal is for it (prize money) to continue to grow. Hosting a competition in a prime space like this is unique - it takes this type of event out of a field or rural lot and puts it smack downtown on the lakefront, but that takes some $$. As the event grows, and sponsor interest grows - prize money will grow too.

We're excited for this competition to grow into what Chicago will let it grow into. The event site is large, and can accommodate more teams and attendees in the future - which will increase the prize money. Media attention for this will be big, as its being hosted at a historic national landmark in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the country. Exposure to national media and sponsors will grow as we grow this contest - and that will be good for all involved (including paying higher purses).

We commit to always give out more prize money than we take in entry fees...

We're not doing this for profit - we're doing it to raise awareness for BBQ in this area, and get all the enthusiasts out for a day of camaraderie and fun.

i hope we'll get some good teams from BBQ-Brethren, I'm new(isn) here - but have been around BBQ for a long time, and never met a BBQ guy I didn't like (for the most part )
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Unread 03-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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I think what Ron L is trying to say about the prize money is that it should be distributed more in each category. Paying the top five places makes more sense. Even if it is heavily weighted towards first. You could put the same box at one table to judge and get 1st and the next table could place it 5th. When you spread the payouts it helps guys who had great product still help offset their cost. This is one of the reasons I think we are going to pass on this event, even though we are one of the few teams that is actually in the city. Just my opinion.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSmoke View Post
I think what Ron L is trying to say about the prize money is that it should be distributed more in each category. Paying the top five places makes more sense. Even if it is heavily weighted towards first. You could put the same box at one table to judge and get 1st and the next table could place it 5th. When you spread the payouts it helps guys who had great product still help offset their cost. This is one of the reasons I think we are going to pass on this event, even though we are one of the few teams that is actually in the city. Just my opinion.
I understand, but at this point we can't change it - we've already accepted applications based on the published details, and it would be unfair to change at this point. Last year, the feedback we got was that 1st place should just take all - we'll continue to ask advice from competitors and adjust year after year accordingly. This competition is about the teams, for the teams - and if most guys agree that they'd like to see the money spread out, I'm all for it.

That being said, for next year, chime in if you have an opinion about this. Prize money to the best of the pack or a little less spread over 5 top places?

FYI - we are giving out smokers, grills, accessories, charcoal, wood, temp gauges, trophies, special-batch beer growlers from Lagunitas, and other cool prizes to the other top 10 finishers - just not cash (but things that you would pay cash for )

PS - SCSmoke - I love your logo/flag! I was creating something like this to hang on my wall at my restaurant, a recreation of the Chicago flag with animals instead of stars - yours rocks!
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Unread 03-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubbbq View Post
I understand, but at this point we can't change it - we've already accepted applications based on the published details, and it would be unfair to change at this point. Last year, the feedback we got was that 1st place should just take all - we'll continue to ask advice from competitors and adjust year after year accordingly. This competition is about the teams, for the teams - and if most guys agree that they'd like to see the money spread out, I'm all for it.

That being said, for next year, chime in if you have an opinion about this. Prize money to the best of the pack or a little less spread over 5 top places?

FYI - we are giving out smokers, grills, accessories, charcoal, wood, temp gauges, trophies, special-batch beer growlers from Lagunitas, and other cool prizes to the other top 10 finishers - just not cash (but things that you would pay cash for )

PS - SCSmoke - I love your logo/flag! I was creating something like this to hang on my wall at my restaurant, a recreation of the Chicago flag with animals instead of stars - yours rocks!
Thanks! My teammate's wife made it for us.

In the future I would vote for the 1st-5th payout. I bet if you did a pole on here most would agree with me. We are going to see how our fist couple contests go and if you still have spots we may sign up then. Either way good luck and thanks for raising competition BBQ awareness in Chicago.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 03:30 PM   #10
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Is it KCBS or no? Nevermind just read site, we don't have a pit that works without a Guru/Stoker.... Bummer we are out.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 03:43 PM   #11
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Not KCBS. I got to cook it last year. Had a good time. If I am in town, I would/will cook it. I had raised some of these questions with Jared a few weeks ago, but the plans were in place. I can understand that. Although getting some expenses back is a nice feature and I believe if brings folks back. locations are cool, but unfortunately they dont pay the bills
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Unread 03-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #12
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I cooked this event last year with Bill M of Heads Red BBQ. It really was a fun event. The scenery being on the running path by the water was outstanding...and I'm not talking about the view of Lake Michigan (HOT PORK!!) I too have great resevations about competing because of the prize break down. The one part that still confuses me is that if only 1st place is paying out, I want full control of my meat. We had some decent ribs, but other teams we were by, I wouldn't wish those on anyone with $1,000 pay-out. Shiners and all. On the other side, I'm allowed to choose my pork and brisket...kind of a confusing approach. Last year the winner of ribs got to do a demo at a Bears pre-game demo, but that too I have my own feelings about because of the outcome. I'm still up in the air.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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Default Windy City BBQ Classic - Chicago, IL August 31st/September 1st, 2013

Ok brethren....after some thought - here's a proposal:

I can't take money away from 1st, because guys signed knowing 1st pays a grand....but I'm sure no one would complain if I sweeten the pot by adding money for other places (Scottie, I shoulda listened to you a month ago )

Each category:
1st-$1000
2nd-$500
3rd-$250
4th-$100
5th-$50
6th-10th-cool trophies and prizes

$2500 grand champion
$2500 people's choice (10 public sampling teams)

Is this more appealing?


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Unread 03-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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Well, that looks like there's a chance to re-coop some money back. There's a much better chance you may see my face back down there now.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 05:06 PM   #15
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Still Out because of my mad welding skills and only having 3/4" pipe for fans on the cookers.

Scottie no FEC at this one last year? Just the Jambo?
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