Well, it's the first of May, and our competition season is coming up fast! Still have a lot of work to do on the trailer, getting equipment stored, organizing, etc. I will try and post some photos prior to our first competition Memorial Day weekend at Ty Warner Park, in Westmont, IL.
The Westmont contest has a few interesting wrinkles this year. In addition to the 8,000.00 prize pool, there are some additional awards available. A local new market in the area, Standard Market, is a sponsor for the event, and is offering an additional $1,000.00 per category, to be divided into 500.00 for first place, 300 for 2nd, and 200 for third, in addition to the regular contest money. The only condition is that for each category, the winning meat has to be from their store (receipt required) I visited their store last week, and can say they have a great meat selection, with specialties of Berkshire and Duroc pork, at fairly reasonable prices. The meat manager, Joe Parajecki, is friendly, helpful, and great to talk to! My first trip I brought home some of their Berkshire spares to try, along with a pork steak from both Duroc and Berkshire varieties, to evaluate the differences. Also picked up some Fleur de sel, a little foie gras, and a small tub of D'artagnan duck fat to play with!
They have phenomenal seafood, sushi, produce , you name it, as well as a restaurant in house, with a new one going up just across the street! http://www.standardmarket.com/ and http://www.bakersfieldrestaurant.com/?page_id=38 Can't wait to try the restaurant too!
Anyway, I digress. There is also going to be a raffle amongst the teams, with the winner being awarded a 4,000.00 Tremore Breeze smoker http://www.breezebbq.com/
Never have seen one, but based on the web site, I'm thinking one would look nice in my back yard!
Interesting note is it says it's worth 4K on the Westmont website, but this years model is 4,999 + shipping and handling. I don't have the right equipment to use it to compete, (more to the point, to haul it) but wouldn't mind a nice shiny new cooker!
So we have 24 days to get it together and prepare. Lots to do between now and then! But having the trailer should make competing easier. I used to cram most of the smoker stuff into the pop-up, but not wanting to get the inside of the new trailer too cruddy, I'll be mostly carrying cookers in the truck, except the bases, which will fit in one of the trailer storage areas. We should have less dependence on the carlisle insulated carriers, as we can now keep our meats in the fridge/freezer, and will try just going with a single Carlisle for this one, to keep meats warm once they're ready.
I'm going to be trying to keep my knives, boards, rubs, injections, tools, thermometers etc. all in a Stanley tools FatMax toolbox this year. That should hopefully reduce the clutter caused by dragging all our stuff around in bus tubs that fit in the pop up, then having to empty everything out to use the bus tubs for dishes! My goal this year is to be much more organized than years past. We will be bringing a portable 10x10 EZ-up as in the past, but hope to be able to do without it, and use the canopy that came with the trailer.
So 3 weeks, and 3 days until our 2012 season officially kicks off!
I will try to add photos of the trailer once I have them