Wednesday, March 6, 2013
But festival founder Jim Tabb called to tell me this is indeed the big anniversary and big events are afoot: The Destination America show "BBQ Pitmasters" will be at this year's festival, June 14 and 15 at Harmon Field in Tryon. Tabb's daughter Lee Ann Whippen, a barbecue chef in Chicago, has been on the show and helped to bring them to Tryon.
If you've never been to a barbecue competition, it is a different animal. There are teams that travel all over the country and spend a major amount of time and money to do this. Some come with full sets, like stages, and cook in costume. You can't get barbecue directly from the teams (well, not officially or legally, but if you make friends with a team, that's up to you). But there also are teams that are licensed to sell to the public, so there is barbecue to be bought.
Tryon's setting in Harmon Field is pretty, with a creek on one side and hills all around. It's also an easy drive from Charlotte, about 90 minutes to the northwest. Get the details at BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com.
And since I'm hoping to return as a judge for the first time in several years, I'll try to bring back some sights, sounds and as close to tastes as my grease-smeared iPhone can get.
Posted by Kathleen Purvis at 9:37 AM