Bayou BBQ Bash returns
MORGAN CITY,La. — A “Meet the Cooks” event Thursday night at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Morgan City will kick off the second annual Bayou BBQ Bash expected to bring about 45 cooking teams, including teams from out of state, to Morgan City under the U.S. 90 Bridge Saturday.
The “Meet the Cooks” event from 6 to 8 p.m. will serve as a chamber of commerce “Business After Hours” event. The cost to attend is $1 and a business card, St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce President Donna Meyer said.
There will be door prizes available, cold drinks, wine and beer, she said.
“We’re bringing people from all over with their pits, and several of those people are actually going to fire up their pits and cook to show people what it looks like,” Meyer said of the event.
Gov. Bobby Jindal recently signed a proclamation declaring July 20 Bayou BBQ Bash Day, Meyer said.
The competition Saturday will be an International Barbecue Cookers Association sanctioned state championship barbecue competition and will be at the corner of Second and Greenwood streets, according to a news release from the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Don Tellman of Morgan City, who helped create the event along with his wife, Mata, said they worked with St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce and wanted to help the chamber out with their building fund.
Tellman said the bash also has gotten a lot of help from the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau for advertising.
In 2012, the Bayou BBQ Bash brought an estimated 2,000 people to Morgan City, Tellman said. Mark Chelette of Morgan City, who makes BeaZell’s Cajun Seasoning, took first place in the chicken competition and beat out some major competitors using his own rubs, Tellman said.
“When we do a competition like this, it always helped out charity,” Tellman said. “Donna Meyer and I had been talking about this … over a period of several years in trying to get a competition brought here.”
The Children’s Miracle Network, St. Mary Chamber of Commerce, Morgan City Family Church and Extreme Sports will each have food booths set up selling BBQ Bash sampler plates from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the Cajun Coast news release. Tickets will be available the day of the bash for $7 each or people can get tickets ahead of time at the St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce office in Morgan City, Tellman said. Proceeds from the meals will benefit the organizations selling them, he said.
The meal includes pulled pork, brisket, chicken, ribs, coleslaw, and a slice of bread, Tellman said. The Episcopal Church of Morgan City will also sell hot dogs and soft drinks at the event.
At the bash Saturday, cookers will compete in four categories consisting of chicken, pork spare ribs, brisket and sauce, Tellman said. There will also be barbeque competitions for kids, called Kids Q, with kids age 12 and under cooking pork chops, and kids ages 13 to 15 cooking chicken legs. The kids’ competition is limited to 15 entries for each age group, and the entry fee is $10, according to the Cajun Coast news release.
An awards ceremony will take place around 4:30 p.m., Tellman said.
Competitors must cook in the chicken, pork spare ribs and brisket food categories to be qualified for the Grand Champion prize, the Cajun Coast news release stated. There will also be a Corporate Cooking Team Throw Down Challenge for bragging rights for the Best Corporate Company Cooking Team in St. Mary Parish, the release stated.
As a competition cooker himself, Tellman has traveled across the country to compete in competitions, but before the Bayou BBQ Bash, there has never been a barbeque competition south of I-10, he said.
The bash is bringing people from as far away as the Alabama, central Texas and Shreveport to compete for a total of about 45 cooking teams, so far, or more than 100 people, Tellman said. The competition will be limited to 50 teams, and the entry fee is $150 per team and $250 per corporate team, he said.
A mandatory meeting for all cooking teams competing will be held at 5 p.m. Friday under the U.S. 90 Bridge on Greenwood Street in Morgan City, Tellman said.
Teams can begin the competition Saturday morning after having their meats inspected, and teams will begin turning in their meats at noon, he said.
The whole city as well as people out of town has helped make the event possible, Tellman said.
“It’s been a little bit by a lot of people instead of a lot by a few people,” Tellman said. A lot of businesses have donated things to make the event possible, he said.
Eighty arts and crafts groups will also set up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. under the bridge between Third Street and Federal Avenue, Tellman said. There will be face painting for kids and activities for kids, he said.