Barbecuing is deep in the heart of Texans. How else could thirty plus hours spent outdoors in last weekend’s cold, with little to no sleep, dealing with the frequent sting of smoke while cooking up loads of barbecue be considered fun?
There was a contest but first place barely covered costs, much less time and effort.
None of the challenges seemed to matter. When asked why they entered this competition, every cook I spoke with said the same thing, “Just for the fun of it”.
The fact that Georgetown Country Club is a non-profit organization may have helped. Win or lose, cooks were all smiles as, at the end of the competition, they donated all the food they had prepared.
Ronnie Lomax is a long time member of Georgetown Country Club. He had the distinction of bringing the largest cooking depot to the competition. Arriving Friday night with the other cooks, he prepped his meats for the Judge's Review and readied his fire pit for Saturday.
He came with, “Fifteen pounds of brisket, ten pounds of ribs, a pound-and-a-half of beans, four-and-a-half pounds of chicken, plus banana pudding.”
Ronnie quipped, “There’s only one Mona Lisa and one me. You can’t talk to Mona Lisa but you can talk to me and get free food. Between yesterday and today we gave away nine pizzas, thirty sausage links, and fifty chicken wings to anyone who wanted some.”
When asked what his favorite food to cook was, Mr. Lomax responded, “Pizza on the grill.” With a smile he added, “We turned in a seafood ‘Sweep the Swamp’ pizza for the ‘Cooks Choice’ category this year.
There were shouts and cajoles as First through Fourth Place winners in each category came up to claim their prizes. While awards were handed out, there was a constant line at three buffet tables loaded with brisket, chicken, ribs, assorted ‘Cook’s Choice’ entries, all the fixings, and way too tasty desserts! (Read that as too many desserts that tasted too good for just one bite.)
The event was sponsored by the Georgetown Rail Equipment Company. Their employees joined in the cooking fun and, when they took both First and Second Place in the ‘Brisket’ category, were cheered by a large table of enthusiastic Grex supporters. Dishes were numbered and judging was blind, so there was no favoritism, just great brisket by employees of a local company who, in true hometown style, participated to help support the event they sponsored.
Ronnie Lomax also coaxed his friend and coworker Jimmy Martin into the competition. Mr. Martin claimed he used a buddy’s rig because his own was too big to bring into the parking lot. When asked how big was too big, he responded, “It is twenty feet long, with a 52” LED TV, plus the smoker.”
Mr. Martin didn’t spend the night. In fact, he admits, “I overslept and didn’t get here until 4:30 in the morning.” When asked how he fared in the competition Mr. Martin beamed, “We won Third in Beans, Third in Desserts, and Third in Brisket.”
Mr. Martin finished by reiterating what other cooks had said, “It’s all for fun.” Then he added, “We enjoyed the chance to hang out, drink a few beers, and be with friends.” Mr. Martin also claims he will absolutely be back to compete again next year.