Page 5 - Barbecue News Magazine SEPT 2020
P. 5

bbq roadtrip
  Dana “big papa” Hillis
BBQ From Florida
It was fun to get back out and do a steak competition. We went to Williston, Florida, to cook at a steak competition for the first time in 4 or 5 months, and it was good to see some of our cook- ing family we had been missing. John and Tona Pendray live in Williston, and this contest helps support the local football team and is held at a blueberry farm that is one of the prettiest places in Florida. Several teams showed up to cook, and everyone did their best to wear masks, not do a lot of hugging and socially distanced as best as could be expected. I just had a little issue of not being able to be close enough to John Pendray or Brian and Dana Coleman to steal any new secrets!. Tony and Rick Wolfe cooked next to me, and it was good to hang out with these two characters. Life was close to being normal for a few days.
A couple of weeks later, we headed to Tennessee for our an- nual summer vacation and family reunion. We stopped through Cumming, Georgia, for a steak competition hosted at the fair- grounds along with a KCBS event. The Fairgrounds facility was absolutely fantastic! It was an excellent venue for an event. My cousins drove down from Tennessee to compete in the SCA event, and we had a lot of fun. We set up next to Belly Up BBQ and got to cook next to a bunch of old friends, including Kell Phelps and the BBQ News MagazineTrailer. It's always good to see Kell out cooking.
If you ever get to attend an event in this charming little town, you will surely enjoy this place. We woke up early Saturday morning to head north to Tennessee and had a hot air balloon right over the top. Seventy-six teams were cooking in the steak contest, while close to 70 teams were cooking in the KCBS event. We stayed up on the hill in our RV, and seeing all the smoke and smelling a BBQ contest underway was refreshing.
We also got to see our old friends Jim and Jan Burg of the infa- mous Killer B's BBQ team. They delivered us some of their fa- mous pimento cheese, and it was refreshing to visit with them for a bit.
We headed up to Mcminnville, Tennessee, and settled in for our family reunion. We had built our new cook shed, and it was fun to set everything up for our first cook in our new building. We did a trial run on Thursday to feed our local firefighters and close friends and cooked up wings and burgers. I think it was an excellent warm-up for Saturday.
The menu for Saturday was pork butts, briskets, alligator, pork
loins, and ribs. With the things going on today we told all our invitees if they wanted to stay home we would run deliveries to them. We spaced our tables out, so we were not crowded to- gether, and masks were provided to anyone that needed one. We spread out over several acres, and several people picked up food and left. We set up a buffet line behind a big clear guard and served with gloves and masks. It was a very successful day. We were able to feed a lot of people safely, and a lot of deliveries were made. We had a local singer named "Cecil" who sang the country songs we all grew up on and enjoyed.
I cooked on a Fast Eddy, a chicken flipper, and an old stick burner, and we put out some of the best food ever. The stick burner belongs to my good friend TI Nunley and is one of my favorite cookers ever. The smell and flavor of the food is fantas- tic. The briskets came out perfect, and the pork loins were ten- der and juicy. We sliced ribs just as fast and fresh and were genuinely remarkable. Everyone loves the fried gator, and with all the favorite sides, everyone makes it was a fantastic spread of food.
We left Mcminnville and headed to Pigeon Forge for a few days of R and R and a little shopping and some more eating. Our favorite stops include the red light district, and Krispy Kreme donuts; when the fresh donut sign is on! We always hit the Alamo steakhouse, and this year we went to a new place called Pucketts. The food was excellent, especially the smoked meat- loaf. They mix brisket with pork and beef and cook on cherry- wood in an Ole Hickory. They slice it, then finish it on a flat top griddle; this may be some of the best meatloaf I have ever had.
On the way up to Pigeon Forge, we stopped at a place called Brushy Mountain Penitentiary. There we took a tour of the End of the Line distillery and ate at their little restaurant! We had a smoked bologna sandwich that was a real treat. Then we toured the old jail facility and were treated to an informative personal tale from a man we met. This gentleman happened to be a re- tired guard of 32 years at the prison. The history of this place will give you goosebumps, and the stories of James Earl Ray, the escape attempts, and all of the haunted tales will be sure to fas- cinate you. If you head to Tennessee, put the Brushy Mountain prison tour on your list! If you don't like moonshine stills, Prison stories, or a little haunting charm, go for the smoked bologna sandwich. Well worth the trip!
SEPTEMBER 2020 - 5
Feed people BBQ - it makes them happy!

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