Monday, May 14, 2007

Memphis in May

Well.......we're here at Memphis in May for the world BBQ championship. I'm with Carey Bringle on the Peg Leg Porkers. I am hoping to blog quite a bit this diary mode. There may be a couple of posts per day with pictures (if I can figure out how to load them on this computer). Yesterday Me, Carey, Dave, Terry & John all met about 5:00 to set up our tent and space. Got Careys cooker loaded in. I havent cooked here since 1998 when I was with John Willingham. I swore then I would'nt do this again......for several reasons. MIM has an almost "Mardis Gras" type feel to it. 95% of the people that make up all the teams are here to party and get wasted. Now I said most people, NOT all! When I was on Johns team there were a lot of guys on the team that just did not want to work. You look around and there is 20-30 men standing around and only 4-5 doing any work. After about 3-4 days of that you can get pissed off real fast! That year I stayed up with the hog all I got no sleep....which is fine because I expected that. I also expected to be able to get a few hours that saturday morning, but that didnt happen. After a breakfast at the "Green Beetle" off Beale St. I saw that John and the 2-3 other guys needed all the hands they could get because the other 25 were just going to drink, so I stayed to work. No sleep, 98* degrees, 95% humidity, 25 lazy fat ticks sitting around doing nothing but farting and drinking screwdrivers & beer........then to make it worse we got docked sanitary points from the judges because John didnt have his gloves on when serving. We came in 4th!!! Boy I was pissed, then to make it worse a couple of judges came by to tell us we would have won whole hog had we not lost those points. Then I was really pissed! All that combined and I said no more! At the end of the afternoon my buddy Bryan Chandler was helping John clean up......he wasnt even a team member! It was pathetic! John is a pretty good guy and I hope to see him this week but the rest of the team that year as a whole was lazy and it got really frustrating. Careys team is not like that. He has guys who want to work! You either pay to be a working member or you pay a higher fee to be on the team but not work, a social member. Careys team is sponsored by Lobels, Jack Daniels Black Label and a few others. I'm really looking forward to this and hope we win! Unlike the Kansas City BBQ Society, which is the other sanctioning body for bbq competitions MIM can be a little political........I'll get into that later this week. Stay posted......this will be fun!

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What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!