Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: 8th Annual Winner's Circle BBQ Championship - Santa Anita Park

  1. #1
    TVWBB Super Fan Mac LA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    424

    8th Annual Winner's Circle BBQ Championship - Santa Anita Park

    Anyone going?

  2. #2
    TVWBB Guru Bob Bass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Corona, CA
    Posts
    2,134
    My Wife and I will be there Sunday, in the tent...
    Should be a good time !!!!
    KCBS, SCA, Operation BBQ Relief

  3. #3
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    12,854
    I will be there Saturday and Sunday. Never been to a two-day back-to-back contest, so this should be interesting. Or exhausting. Or both!

    If you live in the Great Los Angeles area, consider dropping by! There will be BBQ vending, a carnival with rides, and plenty of BBQ competition teams to talk to. You might even run into me!

    Learn more, get tickets, etc: https://www.santaanita.com/events/wo...-championship/

  4. #4
    TVWBB Super Fan Mac LA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    424
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Bass View Post
    My Wife and I will be there Sunday, in the tent...
    Should be a good time !!!!
    Dang Bob, we always seem to miss each other every year! lol I will be there Saturday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Allingham View Post
    I will be there Saturday and Sunday. Never been to a two-day back-to-back contest, so this should be interesting. Or exhausting. Or both!

    If you live in the Great Los Angeles area, consider dropping by! There will be BBQ vending, a carnival with rides, and plenty of BBQ competition teams to talk to. You might even run into me!

    Learn more, get tickets, etc: https://www.santaanita.com/events/wo...-championship/

    It's sooo much fun!!!

    Do you know why they split into two days this year? Are they judging different meats different days?

  5. #5
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    12,854
    Quote Originally Posted by Mac LA View Post
    Do you know why they split into two days this year? Are they judging different meats different days?
    Double your pleasure, double your fun! Two back-to-back KCBS competitor series contests, the usual four meats each day, each contest with its own prize purse and trophies, and an overall two day cumulative point winner. Also, having two contests allows teams to earn more points during a single weekend for Team of the Year, Rookie of the Year, etc.

    As it turns out, our friend and WSM user Jerry Aguilar of Burnin and Lootin BBQ had a commanding performance on both Saturday and Sunday, taking Grand Champion on both days and winning the overall cumulative point total. He also won a bunch of money from SRF and a cool SRF barrel cooker. Jerry had it dialed in this weekend, and part of his success may have been that he brought a WSM back into his mix of cookers at this event!


  6. #6
    TVWBB Super Fan Mac LA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    424
    I went on Saturday and was sad to see they changed the layout and there were noticeably less teams this year; I count only 7 or 8 teams. Were there more teams on Sunday? We still had fun but entries were way down, unless there was a section where all the other teams were and I missed it. hahaha


    Congrats Jerry Aguilar BTW!!! Whoot whoot!!!

  7. #7
    TVWBB Guru Bob Bass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Corona, CA
    Posts
    2,134
    There were 70 teams competing on Saturday and 49 on Sunday. Most teams were located farther South in the parking lot then those seen in front of the South entrance. If you saw the big white tent, teams were located just to the East and South East of that.
    KCBS, SCA, Operation BBQ Relief

  8. #8
    TVWBB Super Fan Mac LA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    424
    OMG!!! LOL Now that is comical. Dammit! I had a feeling but some of my friends wanted to bet the races so we didn't venture further out to the entrance you spoke about.

    We also parked in the infield, assuming it would be the previous years. Oh well, there's always next year. So mad at myself.

  9. #9
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    12,854
    It was my privilege to judge barbecue for the fifth year in a row at the 8th Annual Santa Anita Winners Circle BBQ Championship (aka SAWC8) at historic Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA on March 30-31, 2019. This contest is at the top of my list and probably every other California barbecue judge's list because:

    1. It's a beautiful venue set against the San Gabriel Mountains.
    2. A large number of the best teams travel from all over California and beyond to compete.
    3. It's a well organized contest presented by Ben Lobenstein and Ric Gilbert of Fire It Up! BBQ Events.
    4. You can socialize with lots of friendly judges that you haven't seen since last fall.
    5. You can watch and/or bet on horse racing at the conclusion of turn-ins.
    6. All of the above!

    The answer is All of the above! This event is all of those things, and more!

    Now, I would be remiss if I didn't put this contest into the context of the recent sad events at Santa Anita Park where almost two dozen horses have been injured and put down since the start of racing season last December. One of the unique aspects of this event is that the barbecue contest is held in the racetrack infield, right in the middle of the action. With the suspension of horse racing and the uncertainly of when it would resume, the barbecue contest was moved from the infield to an area in front of the main entrance to the grandstands. Instead of competing on lush green grass, the teams were cooking on asphalt. Sad. And although racing did resume on the Friday before the contest started, there was yet another accident on Sunday afternoon that resulted in a horse being put down. We all appreciate that Santa Anita Park is a gracious host for this event and we're happy to just be able to hold the contest anywhere on the property. We hope they get past this streak of sad events and that the barbecue contest can return to the infield where it belongs in 2020!

    Having said all that, a move from one location to another was not going to stop anyone from having fun and competing for cash, trophies and bragging rights! This year, SAWC8 was a two-day, back-to-back double contest. Teams could compete on both Saturday and Sunday, cooking the four competition meats (chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder, brisket) for separate prize purses and trophies, earn Team of the Year and Rookie of the Year points for each event, and win the coveted trophy for overall points winner across both days. There was also a SFR Challenge offering additional cash for winners using Snake River Farm briskets in the competition.

    As it turns out, 70 teams competed on Saturday and 47 teams competed on Sunday. It was the commanding performance of TVWBB member and WSM user Jerry Aguilar of Burnin and Lootin BBQ that blew everyone away over the weekend. On Saturday, Jerry won Grand Champion with an overall score of 709.1428: A perfect 180 first place in both chicken and brisket, third in ribs and ninth in pork. On Sunday, Jerry won Grand Champion again with an overall score of 699.406, beating out Reserve Champion Big Poppa Smokers by 0.0116 points! He took 6th in chicken, 8th in ribs, 19th in pork, and 3rd in brisket. And of course he was the cumulative point total winner across both contests. And he took home a bunch of SRF Challenge cash and a big-old drum smoker.

    One secret to Jerry's success may have been that he brought a WSM back into the mix at this contest. Jerry used to cook exclusively with WSMs but in recent years has been using drum smokers. Maybe bring one of his WSMs back into his arsenal of cookers at this contest was the key to success. Hey, it could happen!

    Congratulations to all the other winners, including Papa La Rue's BBQ for winning RC on Saturday and as I mentioned Big Poppa Smokers for winning RC on Sunday.

    Here are some photos from our long weekend adventure, hope you enjoy them!


    We arrived in Arcadia on Friday in time for lunch at the famous The Derby restaurant just down the street from Santa Anita Park. This old-school steakhouse has a long, storied history that connects it with the race track and everyone who's worked and played there over the years since 1922.


    Lots of horse racing memorabilia and artwork adorns the walls throughout The Derby.


    A photo of the famous racehorse Seabiscuit in the lobby display case.


    The Derby is famous for its bacon-wrapped filet mignon. When in Rome...medium rare, please.


    Followed by a half-order of cheesecake. Gotta save some room for barbecue judging tomorrow!

    Continued...

  10. #10
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    12,854

    On the flight from San Jose to Burbank, I was surprised to see and sit next to California BBQ Association legend and BBQ photographer extraordinaire Frank Boyer. You've seen Frank's photos of the American Royal and Jack Daniel's Invitational over the past 20 years featured in the KCBS Bullsheet and National BBQ News. Frank organized the BBQ class in 1997 that got me hooked on making barbecue with the WSM, so I owe him a big debt of gratitude! I hope Frank turns up at more California contests this season.


    When I get to contest early on a Friday, I like to walk around the venue, say hello to folks, and take interesting photos. Here are a few...this logo cracks me up!








    More and more of these (not so little) Jambo Pits are showing up at CA contests.


    For the first time, there were carnival rides for the kids at SAWC8.


    This is Ric Gilbert, one of the organizers of SAWC8, head of Ric's Righteous Ribs competition BBQ team from San Jose. Ric is an old friend going back to that 1997 barbecue class that I mentioned earlier.


    The gentleman second from the left is Rick Brandini, head of RBQ competition BBQ team from Gilroy. Rick usually competes alongside his son and often hosts a Certified BBQ Judge on his team so they can get a cook under their belt as part of the Master CBJ certification process. Lately Rick has been left high and dry by his son...something about getting married soon...so for SAWC8 Rick took on-board two judges, both of which are already MCBJs and just enjoy cooking with Rick...that's Tim Obole and Gloria Lee to the right of Rick. On the far left is top-notch KCBS rep Ian Schmidt from Sacramento.


    This is Benny Adauto, head of Funtime BBQ competition BBQ team from Whittier, CA. Astute viewers may remember that Benny cooked alongside Harry Soo of Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ years ago, so Benny knows his way around the multiple WSMs he uses in competition! He finished 34th overall on Saturday and 27th overall on Sunday. Well done!

    Continued...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •