Page 40 - Barbecue News Magazine
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  didn’t get much out of this first experience. His first KCBS contest was in Oswego, Illinois in 1992. There were all of 10-15 teams competing in a parking lot. Although he didn’t do well he certainly learned a lot. In those days they built their own cookers, commercially available cookers were unusual at that time. Through the years he gutted it out at several contests and Theresa was right alongside him all the way.
As the Lakes built a foundation of experience and became a highly visible part of the BBQ Family, he branched out. He organized and ran the Illinois State BBQ Championship for 10 years. The location was next to a corn field and they ti- tled the location as the “Field of dreams”. This drew 50-60 teams each year. Associated with this contest he met Ed Roith, Gary and Carolyn Wells, and other high-profile members of the BBQ Family. Clearly moving up in the BBQ World. As a part of this Saturday contest, he organized a separate event on Friday, the Butt to Butt BBQ contest. He identified what he thought were the top ten BBQ events in the country, including the American Royal, The Jack, and
several others. The 10 teams that won the Pork category in each of these ten contests were the entries in the Butt to Butt, by invitation. They provided the meat for the teams. A past BBQ Profiler, Mike Garretson, served as one of the 10 judges selected for this event. The cook teams and the judges loved the “Field of Dreams” name, and theme, and always looked forward to this contest. Mike Lake competed as a cook team for 10 years in the American Royal and then moved up to the Lead Rep position for this event. He has served in that capacity for 12 years, that is where I first met the Lakes. This is KCBS’s largest BBQ competition and cur- rently fields around 600 teams for the Open on Sunday, and around 200 teams for the Invitational on Saturday. I have judged that event for more than 15 years, when I lived in the Kansas City area. They set the standard for Reps at large contests following their procedures at the Royal. The Lakes cooked the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle for two years and that was my first contest, in 1980, before KCBS was even formed. The Lakes have competed in Memphis in May several times. He continues to serve as a Table Captain for the Jack each year. Mike judged BBQ at the NCAA Champi- onship BB finals in Houston. More familiar to us in Florida
he judged the Sonny’s BBQ, at the Sanford Zoo, where all the judges involved were there by invitation. I was also able to join Mike to judge that event. The Lakes were the Lead Rep’s for all the local and regional Sam’s Club competitions and served as Rep’s with the Lohmans and the Gages for the Championship finals. The Flying BBQ Judges judged this first Sam’s Club Championship. So Mike has been an organizer, a com- petitor, a judge, a rep, a Lead Rep, and much more in all these years in his BBQ career.
The Lakes did not let all this - 40
JUNE 2021

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