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View Full Version : Contest Announcment Windy City BBQ Classic - Chicago, IL August 31st/September 1st, 2013


rubbbq
03-11-2013, 09:43 AM
We're hosting the 2nd annual Windy City BBQ Classic in Chicago August 31st/September 1st, 2013. We hosted this event last year, downtown on the lakefront, and had a really great turnout. We had 20 teams, cooking authentic smoked BBQ the right way - over a hardwood/charcoal fire, competing for 1st place in Ribs, Chicken, and sauce. We brought in a 30' stage, had live music, cooking demonstrations, product giveaways, and a ton of fun.

This year's event will be held August 31st/September 1st, 2013, and we're expanding the event to include Brisket and Shoulder categories. We've also been declared a state championship by Gov. Pat Quinn's office - which makes us a qualifier for the Jack Invitational (and other national invite-only events).

We've expanded the event site this year, hosting Windy City BBQ Classic 2013 at historic Soldier Field (where the Chicago Bears play football). Directly on the lakefront, downtown Chicago - the setting couldn't be better.

We've also included a public sampling portion of the competition. We're having 30 teams - 10 of which will give public samples away (we buy the ribs, teams cook them) competing for peoples choice ($$ for that too).

In total, we're giving away $10,000 in prize money. Again, we're gonna have live music, cooking demonstrations, and product giveaways.

We've also added Lagunitas Brewery as a sponsor, and they will be providing all the beer for the event.

For the general public, it will be a ticketed event - Beer and BBQ all inclusive.

We opened registration a few weeks ago, and have already filled about 1/2 the spots.

If you'd like to compete, visit:

www.windycitybbqclassic.com

If you own a restaurant/catering company and would like to be part of the public sampling field to promote your brand and compete for people's choice, email me directly at jared@backcountryq.com.

Looking forward to another great year!

Ron_L
03-11-2013, 10:19 AM
Can I be on the 50 yard line? :-D

I noticed in the application it says that the teams will receive 2 lbs of Mikeska Sausage but I didn't see mention of sausage anywhere else. Is that for our personal consumption or did I miss something?

Also, will electricity be provided for non-cooking use (lights, etc.) and how about access to water?

daveinwestmont
03-11-2013, 10:45 AM
Can I be on the 50 yard line? :-D

I noticed in the application it says that the teams will receive 2 lbs of Mikeska Sausage but I didn't see mention of sausage anywhere else. Is that for our personal consumption or did I miss something?

Also, will electricity be provided for non-cooking use (lights, etc.) and how about access to water?

Ron, I asked the same question on electric and also about water. Neither will be provided. It will be a dark dry night at the lakefront. I'm not sure if the spot they have chosen is lit, as they havent said which bears parking lot it will be in.

First place in each category gets paid, then the grand. Not sure about the reserve.

Not a KCBS event, garnish is not KCBS rules, Judging by bbq experts, may or may not be KCBS certified. Maybe its time to start practicing the parting of the pork and making sausage:wink:

I cooked last year with another team and it was right off the bike path on the lake front around fullerton, it was a really beautiful location.

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 11:00 AM
Maybe its time to start practicing the parting of the pork and making sausage:wink::noidea:not sure what you mean?

Also, water will be provided. There will be electricity on-site, but we can't accommodate everyone's needs this year. If we find it's a common request, it will be something we consider adding in future years.

The lot is very well lit, public facilities are being provided (indoor plumbing and all)...we'll be playing music all weekend long, so if you wanted electric for that - we've got that covered. Did I mention Lagunitas Brewery is bringing as much cold beer as you can drink? :clap:

This event is in the adler lot, directly behind Soldier Field, on the lakefront - next to the planetarium/the harbor.

Any other ??, feel free to ask - I'm the guy with the info :grin:

Another data point - the basic 10x20 site is not limited...meaning, if you need more space, just ask - we have plenty of it. We just didn't want to spread it out too much by giving 30x30 spaces to guys cooking with a couple UDS's and a EZ-UP. We'll have teams of all sizes there, with a variety of different cookers - so just let us know your space requirements and we'll accommodate.

Can I be on the 50 yard line?
Sorry Ron - not inside the stadium, we wanna be close to the water!

Ron_L
03-11-2013, 11:40 AM
Sorry Ron - not inside the stadium, we wanna be close to the water!

Darn! :-D

I'm glad that water will be available. That's obviously important for sanitation.

Electricity is nice for lighting. Parking lot lights are good for general illumination, but if someone is going to be cooking overnight or prepping for an early start they really need more light than that. Will quiet generators be allowed?

I'm not sure if we will be able to make it or not yet, but if we did, would we be able to bring our toy hauler or would I have to rent a small trailer and cook under an EZ-Up? The toy hauler is 25' long.

Just a little feedback... I like the fact that first place in each category is $1,000, but even with ribs and chicken provided it will cost us around $500 (including the entry fee) if we decide to compete, and while we plan to win every competition we enter :-D that's not reality :rolleyes:, so being able to recover some of our costs with a top 5 finish is a big plus.

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 12:10 PM
Generators are fine, we want you to have lights...

and I hear ya on the prize money. Last year, it was $500 1st, $250 2nd - no GC money cause we only had 2 categories. We've added 2 paying categories, and only raised the fee by $50...and our goal is for it (prize money) to continue to grow. Hosting a competition in a prime space like this is unique - it takes this type of event out of a field or rural lot and puts it smack downtown on the lakefront, but that takes some $$. As the event grows, and sponsor interest grows - prize money will grow too.

We're excited for this competition to grow into what Chicago will let it grow into. The event site is large, and can accommodate more teams and attendees in the future - which will increase the prize money. Media attention for this will be big, as its being hosted at a historic national landmark in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the country. Exposure to national media and sponsors will grow as we grow this contest - and that will be good for all involved (including paying higher purses).

We commit to always give out more prize money than we take in entry fees...

We're not doing this for profit - we're doing it to raise awareness for BBQ in this area, and get all the enthusiasts out for a day of camaraderie and fun.

i hope we'll get some good teams from BBQ-Brethren, I'm new(isn) here - but have been around BBQ for a long time, and never met a BBQ guy I didn't like (for the most part :wink:)

SCSmoke
03-11-2013, 12:26 PM
I think what Ron L is trying to say about the prize money is that it should be distributed more in each category. Paying the top five places makes more sense. Even if it is heavily weighted towards first. You could put the same box at one table to judge and get 1st and the next table could place it 5th. When you spread the payouts it helps guys who had great product still help offset their cost. This is one of the reasons I think we are going to pass on this event, even though we are one of the few teams that is actually in the city. Just my opinion.

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 12:35 PM
I think what Ron L is trying to say about the prize money is that it should be distributed more in each category. Paying the top five places makes more sense. Even if it is heavily weighted towards first. You could put the same box at one table to judge and get 1st and the next table could place it 5th. When you spread the payouts it helps guys who had great product still help offset their cost. This is one of the reasons I think we are going to pass on this event, even though we are one of the few teams that is actually in the city. Just my opinion.

I understand, but at this point we can't change it - we've already accepted applications based on the published details, and it would be unfair to change at this point. Last year, the feedback we got was that 1st place should just take all - we'll continue to ask advice from competitors and adjust year after year accordingly. This competition is about the teams, for the teams - and if most guys agree that they'd like to see the money spread out, I'm all for it.

That being said, for next year, chime in if you have an opinion about this. Prize money to the best of the pack or a little less spread over 5 top places?

FYI - we are giving out smokers, grills, accessories, charcoal, wood, temp gauges, trophies, special-batch beer growlers from Lagunitas, and other cool prizes to the other top 10 finishers - just not cash (but things that you would pay cash for:razz: )

PS - SCSmoke - I love your logo/flag! I was creating something like this to hang on my wall at my restaurant, a recreation of the Chicago flag with animals instead of stars - yours rocks!

SCSmoke
03-11-2013, 12:54 PM
I understand, but at this point we can't change it - we've already accepted applications based on the published details, and it would be unfair to change at this point. Last year, the feedback we got was that 1st place should just take all - we'll continue to ask advice from competitors and adjust year after year accordingly. This competition is about the teams, for the teams - and if most guys agree that they'd like to see the money spread out, I'm all for it.

That being said, for next year, chime in if you have an opinion about this. Prize money to the best of the pack or a little less spread over 5 top places?

FYI - we are giving out smokers, grills, accessories, charcoal, wood, temp gauges, trophies, special-batch beer growlers from Lagunitas, and other cool prizes to the other top 10 finishers - just not cash (but things that you would pay cash for:razz: )

PS - SCSmoke - I love your logo/flag! I was creating something like this to hang on my wall at my restaurant, a recreation of the Chicago flag with animals instead of stars - yours rocks!

Thanks! My teammate's wife made it for us.

In the future I would vote for the 1st-5th payout. I bet if you did a pole on here most would agree with me. We are going to see how our fist couple contests go and if you still have spots we may sign up then. Either way good luck and thanks for raising competition BBQ awareness in Chicago.

Kave Dweller
03-11-2013, 02:30 PM
Is it KCBS or no? Nevermind just read site, we don't have a pit that works without a Guru/Stoker.... Bummer we are out.

Scottie
03-11-2013, 02:43 PM
Not KCBS. I got to cook it last year. Had a good time. If I am in town, I would/will cook it. I had raised some of these questions with Jared a few weeks ago, but the plans were in place. I can understand that. Although getting some expenses back is a nice feature and I believe if brings folks back. locations are cool, but unfortunately they dont pay the bills

cmohr74
03-11-2013, 03:22 PM
I cooked this event last year with Bill M of Heads Red BBQ. It really was a fun event. The scenery being on the running path by the water was outstanding...and I'm not talking about the view of Lake Michigan (HOT PORK!!) I too have great resevations about competing because of the prize break down. The one part that still confuses me is that if only 1st place is paying out, I want full control of my meat. We had some decent ribs, but other teams we were by, I wouldn't wish those on anyone with $1,000 pay-out. Shiners and all. On the other side, I'm allowed to choose my pork and brisket...kind of a confusing approach. Last year the winner of ribs got to do a demo at a Bears pre-game demo, but that too I have my own feelings about because of the outcome. I'm still up in the air.

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 03:56 PM
Ok brethren....after some thought - here's a proposal:

I can't take money away from 1st, because guys signed knowing 1st pays a grand....but I'm sure no one would complain if I sweeten the pot by adding money for other places (Scottie, I shoulda listened to you a month ago )

Each category:
1st-$1000
2nd-$500
3rd-$250
4th-$100
5th-$50
6th-10th-cool trophies and prizes

$2500 grand champion
$2500 people's choice (10 public sampling teams)

Is this more appealing?


Sent from my iPh

cmohr74
03-11-2013, 03:59 PM
Well, that looks like there's a chance to re-coop some money back. There's a much better chance you may see my face back down there now.

Kave Dweller
03-11-2013, 04:06 PM
Still Out because of my mad welding skills and only having 3/4" pipe for fans on the cookers.

Scottie no FEC at this one last year? Just the Jambo?

cmohr74
03-11-2013, 04:06 PM
any chance you could still touch on the meat portion. Why use your chicken and ribs, but our butts and brisket. There's no even playing field at that point correct? What happens if I were the team that had 3 of my 5 slabs have shiners? I understand level playing ground, everyone gets the same meat from the same supplier. But that was last year when there was only ribs and chicken. Now it's 4 meats.

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 04:07 PM
...and cmor74-the reason we provide ribs and chicken is that there is a large range of differences when buying ribs-spares vs back...St. Louis vs full spare, then all the weight differences - every 1/4 lb weight class. Providing the same product to all (and I'll politely disagree with you about any inconsistencies in the ribs from the top pork packer in the country- Wichita packing company) makes the playing field more even. Providing chicken is an added value to your entry, and again, we provide some of the best chicken available commercially from Kingdom Farms. Brisket and shoulder aren't provided because not everyone will submit these categories and there isn't as large of a range of difference when buying brisket and shoulder (types not quality). Hope this makes sense.


Sent from my iPh

billm
03-11-2013, 04:33 PM
I really have to disagree with the statement there is not a huge difference in butts and brisket...im sure others would agree too. Also part of being a good cook is knowing how to select meat.. All this even playing field stuff never made any sense to me .

SCSmoke
03-11-2013, 05:02 PM
Ok brethren....after some thought - here's a proposal:

I can't take money away from 1st, because guys signed knowing 1st pays a grand....but I'm sure no one would complain if I sweeten the pot by adding money for other places (Scottie, I shoulda listened to you a month ago )

Each category:
1st-$1000
2nd-$500
3rd-$250
4th-$100
5th-$50
6th-10th-cool trophies and prizes

$2500 grand champion
$2500 people's choice (10 public sampling teams)

Is this more appealing?


Sent from my iPh
If this was the prize structure we definitely would reconsider.

I also agree with the others about the meat supplied. I understand the idea of setting yourself apart from other competitions trying to "even the playing field", but by allowing guys to cook any brisket/pork they want takes that away. One guy using waygu and the next guy using select. I suggest still providing the chicken/ribs but allowing teams to choose to bring and cook their own. Just my opinion

Perry/Chicago
03-11-2013, 06:00 PM
Every single topic brought up so far in this thread, is right on what I have been thinking, and why I didn't compete last year, and won't this year, even living walking distance to the lake front. The winner take all payouts, the supplying of meat (BillM is right. Picking out good meat is a skill set,) just to name a few things. And electricity is important even if you aren't using it to cook. We don't cook with electricity in contests, but that said, the whole "BBQ purity" thing is totally off putting . . .

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 06:13 PM
Bill and perry - I said specially there aren't as many different "types/weights" of brisket and butts as ribs. I agree on the quality (of meat) comments, but I've had poorly cooked wagyu brisket and excellent regular select beef brisket that was cooked properly. I appreciate constructive comments, but please don't insult our contest by calling BBQ purity "off putting" or other non constructive comments.. Many will attend and compete and I hope those that have interest will have a great time again this year.


Sent from my iPh

Perry/Chicago
03-11-2013, 06:29 PM
Rub, not meant to be insulting, but rather to give you an honest reason why I didn't compete last year and don't intend to this year. As an organizer that is info I'd like to know if I were trying to maximize the interest and participation in an event, especially when "BBQ purity" is the major message in your branding, and like I said, we don't even use electric when we compete . . .


Bill and perry - I said specially there aren't as many different "types/weights" of brisket and butts as ribs. I agree on the quality (of meat) comments, but I've had poorly cooked wagyu brisket and excellent regular select beef brisket that was cooked properly. I appreciate constructive comments, but please don't insult our contest by calling BBQ purity "off putting" or other non constructive comments.. Many will attend and compete and I hope those that have interest will have a great time again this year.


Sent from my iPh

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 06:34 PM
And I appreciate that, but keep it constructive- i find BBQ purity to be important. If you don't, I respect that. You can use electric for anything other than cooking.


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billm
03-11-2013, 06:38 PM
Bill and perry - I said specially there aren't as many different "types/weights" of brisket and butts as ribs. I agree on the quality (of meat) comments, but I've had poorly cooked wagyu brisket and excellent regular select beef brisket that was cooked properly. I appreciate constructive comments, but please don't insult our contest by calling BBQ purity "off putting" or other non constructive comments.. Many will attend and compete and I hope those that have interest will have a great time again this year.
Sent from my iPh

Jared - No one is "insulting" your contest. Just disagreeing on the whole meat thing and I never even mentioned types like waygu etc....someone else did.
I was just disagreeing with your statement on no differences in butts/briskets and I wasnt referring to choice vs waygu etc...Bottom line there is a huge spread within the same grade of meat so I personally would rather choose my own vs getting the luck of the draw out of what someone hands me from a case.
In any event it didnt stop me from cooking your contest last year nor am I trying to dissuade anyone from cooking it this year. Sorry you consider my statements non constructive. Its still part of the discussion

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 06:42 PM
...and we are allowing everyone to choose their own butts/brisket - just not ribs because I don't want backs/spares/st Louis 2 1/4 vs 1 1/2.. Chicken is provided as a value. Brisket and butts are brought in by each team.


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Kave Dweller
03-11-2013, 06:43 PM
We have great luck with witchita, they know comp ribs, 3-1/2 lbs 13 bones all day long.

Stoke&Smoke
03-11-2013, 06:47 PM
As long as we can bring our trailer we're in! screw the rest of the details! This is a local comp, great location. I'm printing my app and will send the check tomorrow. too bad you don't have an online option!
2SkinnyCooks will be there as a team this year instead of a visitor....hell, last year, I had to keep sitting down cause the chemo beat my azz

Only thing keeping me off was the original statement about space

Scottie
03-11-2013, 07:45 PM
Good job on the prize fund, Jared.

I will say, the ribs we had last year were very worthy. Wichita had some good rib out there.

Southern Krunk BBQ Societ
03-11-2013, 08:01 PM
We cooked this comp last year and it was first class. Of course, we had a great outcome, but would say the same even if we finished dal. The products we were given were top notch! I suggest this year if someone gets a "box full of shiners" so to speak, see if you can return them for a different batch.

Either way, we are driving back to Chicago this year, and definitely would suggest to the brethren out there considering a "cave man comp" to jump on this one!

The best part was making friends with a lot of people in the Chicago area we wouldn't have otherwise gotten to know.

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 08:16 PM
Thanks for the support guys, it's good to hear some folks from last year that enjoyed themselves.

I do appreciate all of the feedback, and I've committed to adding those additional payouts to 2nd-5th place.

Producing an event like this is tough - just like running a business. You're never gonna please everyone - and something is always ripe to critique to each person's personal preference.

To hear from attendees last year that they enjoyed themselves is encouraging, and I hope they enjoy the improvements and come out again.

To those considering this year -

let me clarify a couple things that may have been misunderstood for this year's comp:

Ribs and Chicken are provided (Wichita Packing and Kingdom Farms respectively). This is done to ensure everyone is cooking a similar product. Cooking ribs and Chicken is mandatory to participate.

Brisket and Shoulder turn-in boxes are optional. That being said, if you are entering these categories - you will be providing your own meat for them.

Electricity is allowed, just not for cooking. We're looking for guys to really run their pits the old fashioned way, managing their fires manually.

It's gonna be a great time, it's on the lakefront, downtown - we're bringing in some of the best blues/rock performers from around the country including Claudette King (BB king's daughter) and other nationally recognized musicians.

Good music, good people, good beer, good food...good times celebrating this old fashioned, authentic style of cooking - BBQ!



We look forward to another great year.

cmohr74
03-11-2013, 08:50 PM
...and cmor74-the reason we provide ribs and chicken is that there is a large range of differences when buying ribs-spares vs back...St. Louis vs full spare, then all the weight differences - every 1/4 lb weight class. Providing the same product to all (and I'll politely disagree with you about any inconsistencies in the ribs from the top pork packer in the country- Wichita packing company) makes the playing field more even. Providing chicken is an added value to your entry, and again, we provide some of the best chicken available commercially from Kingdom Farms. Brisket and shoulder aren't provided because not everyone will submit these categories and there isn't as large of a range of difference when buying brisket and shoulder (types not quality). Hope this makes sense.


Sent from my iPh

I'm not upset with the contest, or you, but please don't make assumptions. You can politely disagree all you wish, but when you phyisically see the shiners, I don't need someone's assumption from past experiences with Wichita Packing to tell me it was a figment of my imagination. I personally had no complaints with the ribs and chicken supplied to Head's Red BBQ. Hell we took 1st in Chicken and 3rd in ribs. I'm just saying what if I was that guy that got those shiners, would you let me take someone elses? As I said before, I personally was not disappointed in the meat supplied and I'm not trying to complain, just trying to comprehend and state my concerns of a "what if" that did happen last year. I would be out $1,000 for Ribs and guaranteed out the GC as well as the $500 I would have invested. Either way, as Southern Krunk BBQ, we were treated very well. I met some people that I still keep in contact with...including those the Southern Krunk Boys. I appreciate that you would take feedback and adjust. Making the prize pool more appealing for competitors is greatly appreciated. I do apprecaite the hard work that is put into this competition.

rubbbq
03-11-2013, 09:05 PM
I suggest this year if someone gets a "box full of shiners" so to speak, see if you can return them for a different batch.

yes, we'll exchange ribs if you don't like them...on that note, we give you 5 slabs of ribs - and you turn in 6 bones.

AND - new space size...25 ft. x 25 ft. spaces for everyone !!

daveinwestmont
03-11-2013, 09:49 PM
Rub, way to step up on the money, space, electric, and water. I know you didn't have to do this but it shows your commitment to getting the best teams in the event. As I stated earlier it was a great event along the lake front last year and I'm sure it will be even better this year. I'm sure this will be sold out by the weekend if not sooner based on your changes.

As for meat last year, the team I cooked with had very good quality meat provided by you, no shiners or smelly chicken.

kwas68
03-11-2013, 10:11 PM
Need a hand, Dann?

Stoke&Smoke
03-12-2013, 07:44 AM
Need a hand, Dann?

:D
I think we can handle things Steve, but you're welcome to hang out! Heck we might need an extra pair of hands

SCSmoke
03-12-2013, 10:28 AM
After all that has been cleared up on here and with the additional payouts added we are going to cook this one. Now all I have to do is learn how to cook without my Yoder:noidea:

Kave Dweller
03-12-2013, 11:49 AM
After all that has been cleared up on here and with the additional payouts added we are going to cook this one. Now all I have to do is learn how to cook without my Yoder:noidea:

Forgot your in the same boat.

kwas68
03-12-2013, 01:04 PM
While you got him on the ropes, might as well ask for massages from lingerie models.

rubbbq
03-12-2013, 02:15 PM
I didn't mention that?? Free massages from my partner Gary Wiviott :)


Sent from my iPh

Bbq Bubba
03-12-2013, 03:28 PM
I was VERY fortunate to be able to judge this last year! Jared and Gary are new at this but they bust their arses to put on a great show!

Hope I get an invite to judge again this year! :wink:

Scottie
03-12-2013, 04:10 PM
No Bubba this year!!!! He tried to drink all my Jack!!!

Ron_L
03-12-2013, 09:11 PM
I didn't mention that?? Free massages from my partner Gary Wiviott :)


I'm out.

:becky:

Coz
03-13-2013, 05:17 PM
Forgot your in the same boat.

Make a new fire box door :tape:

Kave Dweller
03-14-2013, 09:12 AM
Make a new fire box door :tape:

Weld on hinges on both the stumps clone and the backwoods clone.

You of all people know how long the first doors took, ain't a chance in hell i'm going through that again....unless..... it was..... a complete other cooker....

Coz
03-14-2013, 06:53 PM
Weld on hinges on both the stumps clone and the backwoods clone.

You of all people know how long the first doors took, ain't a chance in hell i'm going through that again....unless..... it was..... a complete other cooker.... :mod:

Please dont tell your wife I brought that up. :doh:

Kave Dweller
03-14-2013, 07:01 PM
She knows she married poorly

82's BBQ
03-14-2013, 09:29 PM
OK I am seriously half hoping that a catering job doesn't come in, even though I am sure we'll get our butts handed to us. Is there a limit on the amount of teams that you are accepting? If so were are you at with paid teams?

Stoke&Smoke
03-14-2013, 09:32 PM
Thought they said 30 but I suppose that could be changed

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

Kave Dweller
03-15-2013, 12:12 AM
You'll understand, she met me at a dirt track

rubbbq
03-15-2013, 07:27 AM
OK I am seriously half hoping that a catering job doesn't come in, even though I am sure we'll get our butts handed to us. Is there a limit on the amount of teams that you are accepting? If so were are you at with paid teams?

We're at 17 right now paid, with about another 10 verbally committed but not paid.

rubbbq
03-15-2013, 05:02 PM
Just left a meeting with Lagunitas brewery, our official beer provider (free to consume by attendees and competitors).

Not only are they going to provide kegged special brews specifically made for this competition Saturday night for the welcome party, they're going to pack coolers for each overnight team full of hand picked Lagunitas specialties...

...just another perk for our teams :)


Sent from my iPh

Coz
03-15-2013, 06:10 PM
She knows she married poorly

This would be a great chance for you to convince her that my trailer cooker would be a good investment .And it runs fine with out the Guru :shocked:

Kave Dweller
03-15-2013, 06:15 PM
Remember when you said your wife would kill ya for taking the swamp boys class? Our wives have murder in common. I'd love to do this one just have to figure how it fits in to this years plan.

rubbbq
03-18-2013, 03:04 PM
We're now at 20 confirmed teams - those that have received phone calls to confirm payment, thank you - those that have turned in, but not yet been called - you have spots confirmed pending payment; calls will be made this week.