What it’s like to win
A few hours after judging is complete, teams gather around a stage to wait for their name to be called. Both men and women pitmasters will tell you that getting “a call” is quite an accomplishment.
“There is nothing better than when you get your name called after prepping for most of the week prior to the contest and then cooking the food to the best of your ability with the circumstances you have at a particular contest,” said Shannon.
She’s been competing for four years. Her team Muttley Crew BBQ won its first grand this year at Greenwood, South Carolina. “We had been so close to winning for so long and to be able to experience the win with our friends was priceless,” she said.
Tina said she is anxious at awards ceremonies and feels a sense of relief when she hears her name called.
Her proudest wins include being the first female pitmaster to win the Georgia Championship, winning on the Travel Channel’s American Grilled against all male competitors and taking grand championship in a kosher BBQ contest.
Even though Kim and her Midnight Burn team have won a number of grand championships and perfect scores, she said she still gets nervous at the awards ceremony. One of the awards that really stands out to her is her first place brisket at the World Food Championship in 2016.
Preparing for the World Food Championships
Now that the top 10 teams have been announced, the ladies are making final preparations for the World Food Championships.
“I have been practice cooking various dishes for the past few months for the WFC. Every time I eat out or even cook dinner; I think to myself, could this be an entry for WFC or Fire & Ice,” said Tina. “I also ask friends and family as well as just random people about dishes that they loved in the past, or what is their favorite dish.”
“We practice our two-hour grill competition for a couple months, perfecting flavors, process and timelines. For the BBQ part of the competition, we just do our thing,” said Kim.