Hot Yazoo team takes top honors at Brenau barbecue cook-off

Aug 26, 2011
Rudi Kiefer

Team Yazoo Delta

Team Yazoo Delta and Brenau’s Dana Miller (far left), Danny Meadows of MBN (3rd from right)

For the second year in a row, the judging at the Brenau Barbecue Championship came down to tenths of points to determine the Grand Champion between Jack’s Old South and the eventual winner, the professional team Yazoo Delta Q of Nesbit, Miss., who took top honors and $5,600 in prize money in the Memphis Barbecue Network-sanctioned competition at Brenau University. But lest they coast next year, there were ample tough challengers from both perennial favorites and newcomers to the circuit right behind them.

“All the cook teams at Brenau this year, both the pros and the amateurs, made the judges’ jobs very, very difficult,” said Jim Barco, senior vice president for institutional development and special events at the university. “What makes this a great event is that everybody involved want to do their very best to win.”

The Memorial Day weekend event marked only the second year that the university has staged its competition. But it has already acquired a reputation as one of the best stops on the MBN circuit with 16 professional teams competing in three pork-only categories. In addition, network-certified judges judged entries from 25 amateur teams, called the “Backyard Braggarts” in the Brenau competition.

Also, in a competition unique to Brenau and an homage to the university’s location in the heart of “the poultry capital of the South,” Brenau offered another $500 in prizes for a separate completion called “Anything but…,” which means contestants would be judged on barbecuing anything but pork. The team from Bubba Grills in Haddock, Ga., won the $250 first place prize in that category.

Fresh from a national championship win at the Memphis in May contest a week earlier, the big winner at Brenau was the Yazoo Delta Q team headed by Melissa and Pete Cookston. The team took top honors at Brenau’s inaugural 2009 event, and this year not only won the $2,500 grand prize and an additional $3,100 for high finishes the three competition categories: whole hog, shoulder and ribs.

Second place overall went to Jack’s Old South, the team headed by Myron Mixon from Unadilla, Ga., a three-time winner of Memphis in May and last year’s Brenau champion.

Here’s a list of all the winners in each category:

Whole Hog – (1) Yazoo’s Delta Q, (2) Jacks Old South, (3) Bubba Grills, (4) Dixie Que from Macon, Ga., (5) The Wild Turkeys from Middleburg, Fla., (6) Jurassic Pork from Norcross, Ga., (7) The Big Pig from Oakwood, Ga..

Shoulder – (1) Jack’s Old South, (2) Dixie Que, (3) Bubba Grills, (4) Smokin’ Butts from Gainesville, Ga., (5) Yazoo’s Delta Q, (6) Smoke Shack Barbecue from North Augusta, S.C., (7) Lost Mountain BBQCo., from Kennesaw, Ga., (8) Jurassic Pork, (9) The Wild Turkeys, (10) The Big Pig, (11) Backwoods Bar-B-Q from Gainesville, Ga..

Ribs – (1) Yazoo’s Delta Q, (2) Dixie Que, (3) Jack’s Old South, (4) Southeastern Smokers from Sugar Hill, Ga., (5) Smoke Shack, (6) Bubba Grills, (7) Lost Mountain BBQCo., (8) Smokin’ Butts, (9) Jurassic Pork, (10) Pigs In Heat from Toccoa, Ga., (11) Atlanta Motion Pigtures from Tucker, Ga., (12) The Wild Turkeys, (13) The Big Pig.

The Wild Turkeys also won the $500 cook site appearance award.

In the “Backyard Braggarts” amateur division 24 contestants entered the ribs-cooking category. Loco Polo & Pig of Gainesville placed first with The Pit Crew from Peachtree City, Ga., and Big Al’s Pit Crew from Statham, Ga., in second and third.

First-place winner in the Boston Butt category was Tuff Luck Bar-B-Que from Duluth, Ga., with Fat Willie’s BBQ from McDonough Ga., in second place and Properly Smoked from Chamblee, Ga., finishing third in a field of 26 entries.

Other contestants were: 2 Little Pigs, Gainesville, Ga.; B&B Grillmasters, Jefferson, Ga.; Bastie Boys, Gainesville, Ga.; Bear Club BBQ, Gainesville, Ga.; Brew-B-Q, Athens , Ga.; Calhoun’s BBQ, Athens , Ga.; Cook ’em Danno, Gainesville, Ga.; Hemhock’s, Gainesville, Ga.; J. Reid’s BBQ & Stew, Gainesville, Ga.; John Jarrard’s Rhythm & Drool BBQ, Gainesville, Ga.; Lazy Bear’s Barbeque, Oakwood, Ga.; Memorial Park, Gainesville, Ga.; Rebel Dawg BBQ, Gainesville, Ga.; Rick’s Smokin’ Pig, Chestnut Mountain, Ga.; Smoked Hawg Walking, Smyrna, Ga.; Swamp Cat BBQ, Gainesville, Ga.; The BBQ Doctor, Suwanee, Ga.; Three Men and a Rub, Acworth, Ga.; Tuff Dawg Grillers, Gainesville, Ga.; and Where’s the Best Smokers, Jefferson, Ga.

“All the cook teams took the competition aspects of this festival as seriously as you would expect,” said Barco, “but they also understand that this is a community festival and a great opportunity to educate people about barbecue. In addition to bringing their A-game attitude for the championship, they were generous with time and samples to the thousands of people who visited us.”

The Brenau Barbecue championship is held on the 55-acre campus in the historic district of Gainesville, which is about 50 miles north of Atlanta and on the shores of Lake Lanier. Net proceeds from the event benefit scholarships for local students who attend the private undergraduate and graduate-level institution.

Brenau BBQ website with photo albums of the event

Originally published on 6/11/10