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View Full Version : Need some help trying to host a cookoff/fundraiser


BlazinSS934
09-03-2010, 09:58 AM
I am a volunteer firefighter and every year we try to to run a fundraiser. The company kicked around a few ideas and they want me to look into running a bbq cook-off. I have partipated in a few contests and I know my way around the grill and smoker, so to the I am the resident smoke head.

some of my handy work http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/food/2009/06/21/2009-06-21_firefighters_go_rib_to_rib_in_a_bbq_cookoff_.ht ml

http://www.fdnntv.com/Jim_Beam_Terry_Farrell_Firehouse_Cook_Off
Link with video

I am the guy holding the jim beam bottle It was my recipe but i declined the interview so my buddy dana did it and the daily news blew up the fact that he was a professional chef.

back to my question.

how do I go about running a cook-off.
it would be easier to host a comp. and have someone else run it im clueless here any help would be great

we are located in nassau county NY
we have access to a 5 acre grass area w/ a nice gazzebo that has a full service kitchen next to it.
we would also be able to secure nice sized parking lot
we hosted the NYS Parade in 2009 so we know how to handle logistics

just looking for a push in the right direction and some ideas

Sal Astuto

CBQ
09-03-2010, 03:36 PM
I am a volunteer firefighter and every year we try to to run a fundraiser. The company kicked around a few ideas and they want me to look into running a bbq cook-off. I have partipated in a few contests and I know my way around the grill and smoker, so to the I am the resident smoke head.

some of my handy work http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/food/2009/06/21/2009-06-21_firefighters_go_rib_to_rib_in_a_bbq_cookoff_.ht ml

http://www.fdnntv.com/Jim_Beam_Terry_Farrell_Firehouse_Cook_Off
Link with video

I am the guy holding the jim beam bottle It was my recipe but i declined the interview so my buddy dana did it and the daily news blew up the fact that he was a professional chef.

back to my question.

how do I go about running a cook-off.
it would be easier to host a comp. and have someone else run it im clueless here any help would be great

we are located in nassau county NY
we have access to a 5 acre grass area w/ a nice gazzebo that has a full service kitchen next to it.
we would also be able to secure nice sized parking lot
we hosted the NYS Parade in 2009 so we know how to handle logistics

just looking for a push in the right direction and some ideas

Sal Astuto

A KCBS sanctioned event will draw more teams, and they will run the contest for you - at least the competition part. You have to handle the logistics - permits, insurance, sponsors, power, water, a judging space, sanitation.

The New England Barbecue Society (nebs.org) helps with a lot of contests in NY. Try shooting them an email. They may have some suggestions, and can also point you in the right direction to get KCBS sanctioned.

BBQchef33
09-15-2010, 10:14 PM
On it! :)

Sledneck
09-15-2010, 10:20 PM
FBA (Florida BBQ Association) (http://flbbq.org/fba_sanction.htm) would be another option besides KCBS for sanctioning.

olewarthog
09-16-2010, 11:29 AM
As a contest organizer, I suggest you go the sanctioning route. Not only does being sanctioned give your contest credibility, you will have not only a pool of cook teams to invite to your event but qualified judges as well.

In terms of setting up a contest, the biggest obstacle most organizers face is providing adequate power & water to the cook sites. You don't have to run an outlet & spigot to every cook site, but you do need to have adequate access within 100 yards of every site. Don't go cheap on the power setup. Nothing will cause more grumbling among cook teams that breakers that trip every 15 minutes. At my site, I had 2 central poles with enough outlets that each team had a separate 20 amp circuit. Unless your fire dept has access to large, portable generators, be prepared to spend a couple thousand dollars on power & water. And don't forget about bathroom facilities or porta-potties.

I noticed you said your site had a gazebo. Is it large enough to handle the judging tables? On the average, you will need a table of judges for every 5-6 teams. So if you have 25 teams, you would need 5 tables that could seat either 5 or 6 judges (depending on the sanctioning organizations rules) at each table. If the gazebo is not that big, then you will need a large tent for judging.

A big item, since you are doing this as a fund raiser is sponsors. It is really tough attracting sponsors in many areas in this economy. Still, you have to have some to offset costs & part of the prize money. Sometimes in kind donations are better than cash. I had an ice vendor donate all the ice we needed. We gave ice away & that made a good impression on the cook teams. We also were able to get our trophies & medals donated. Little things like that really add up in the end.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

motoeric
09-16-2010, 11:36 AM
Sal,

PM me your email address. I have an extensive outline in MS Word of what is involved with a cook off.

Heck, I'm heading to Bethpage in about an hour and I could have just dropped them off at your firehouse. Couldn't be too far away.

Eric Devlin

Sawdustguy
09-17-2010, 03:00 AM
I am a volunteer firefighter and every year we try to to run a fundraiser. The company kicked around a few ideas and they want me to look into running a bbq cook-off. I have partipated in a few contests and I know my way around the grill and smoker, so to the I am the resident smoke head.

some of my handy work http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/food/2009/06/21/2009-06-21_firefighters_go_rib_to_rib_in_a_bbq_cookoff_.ht ml

http://www.fdnntv.com/Jim_Beam_Terry_Farrell_Firehouse_Cook_Off
Link with video

I am the guy holding the jim beam bottle It was my recipe but i declined the interview so my buddy dana did it and the daily news blew up the fact that he was a professional chef.

back to my question.

how do I go about running a cook-off.
it would be easier to host a comp. and have someone else run it im clueless here any help would be great

we are located in nassau county NY
we have access to a 5 acre grass area w/ a nice gazzebo that has a full service kitchen next to it.
we would also be able to secure nice sized parking lot
we hosted the NYS Parade in 2009 so we know how to handle logistics

just looking for a push in the right direction and some ideas

Sal Astuto

Great idea Sal. I grew up in Hicksville and was a member of Engine Company 7 for six years back in the day when Richy Magee was Captain before moving east. I would compete in a heartbeat. It would be great to see some of the guys again. You will be in good hands with Phil and Eric helping.

Anchors Smokeshop
09-17-2010, 10:27 AM
What's the latest on this? I'd be willing to compete.

BlazinSS934
09-18-2010, 01:50 PM
thanks for all the responses, I have had a hectic few weeks . This is still in the infantile stages, we are trying to get this going for sept/oct of next year. My company used to be know for its fall festival and craft fair back in the 80's and 90's looking to use this as a catylast to put us back on the map.