2019 Gilroy Garli-Que BBQ Challenge

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
2019 marked the 41st edition of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the granddaddy of food festivals in California. Founded in 1979, the festival has been attended by over 4.4 million visitors over the years, has awarded over $11.7 million to community schools and non-profit organizations, and gets it done with the help of over 4,000 volunteers each year from over 140 non-profit groups in Gilroy and surrounding communities.

Oh, and each year visitors to the Gilroy Garlic Festival consume more than 2 tons of fresh garlic from Gilroy’s own Christopher Ranch.

2019 also marked the 4th edition of the Gilroy Garli-Que BBQ Challenge. I judged the meat entries at last year's contest, but this year I managed the leftovers table. In that role, you make sure that leftover meat from the turn-in boxes is equitably distributed to the volunteers handling all of the administrative tasks like box intake, number switching, table captaining, data entry, comment card sorting, and so on. I partnered with a nice woman named Annette, and between the two of us I think we ran a pretty efficient leftovers operation!

Of course, it's always HOT at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in July, and 2019 was no exception. And of course, it turned out that the Saturday of the BBQ contest was the hottest day of all. By the time judging had concluded, it was 102°F in the judges tent. But it was worth it because I heard there were some great meat entries from the 36 professional teams competing, plus 19 creative entries in the ancillary "Anything Goes...With Garlic" category. I saw lobster rolls, tacos, and lots of other unique turn-ins in the fifth optional category.

Congratulations to Simply Marvelous for winning the Grand Champion belt, Big Poppa Smokers for taking Reserve Champion, and Bar-B-Cuda BBQ for winning the ancillary category with a perfect score of 180. Also, congrats and thanks to organizers Michael Davis, John Melone, Dennis Harrigan, and Jim Rhodes III for putting on a wonderful barbecue contest. Thanks to Smithfield Foods for their sponsorship of the contest.

Here are a few photos from the event. Enjoy!

---

The calm before the storm...click the photo to watch video clip.



Teams in the field getting ready for turn-ins.


More teams cooking in Gilroy.


Rick Brandini of RBQ demonstrating to a couple of future Master CBJs the finer points of applying squeeze Parkay margarine to barbecue.


People's Choice barbecue being prepared for the hungry masses by Ralph Reyes of Lord of the Ribs.


More barbecue for public consumption from Lord of the Ribs.


Hard to see, but lots of ribs being smoked in this pit.


I know I'm in the right place when I see this.

Continued...
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member

Contest organizer Michael Davis (foreground) greets the judges.


The Battle for the Belt: the Grand Champion Garli-Que prize belt.


Big trophy for Reserve Champion, small trophy for People's Choice winner.


Pork, chicken, and beef are all represented on the RC trophy.


Mad Meat Genius and all-around good guy Paul Brown celebrates his 100+ MCBJ status. KCBS rep Julie Poe bestows upon Paul a bling "VIP" necklace, all in good fun.


Paul Brown receives a judging plate signed by all of the teams at today's competition.


Paula Redding and Paul Brown administer the KCBS Judge's Oath. Paula was celebrating her 30th contest alongside her brother-in-law, Paul.


Some of my handiwork at the leftover table. Hardly any chicken, quite a few ribs, and lots of pork butt on the way!


Judging of the ancillary "Anything Goes...With Garlic" category.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
That a very cool event :cool: But hey, 102*, hope there was not much humidity and they had fans in the judges tent.

That's a much larger event than OKC's Festival of the Pig :)

How in the world .......... do you judge appearance on those ribs, they all look alike to me.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Thanks for sharing Chris.
Looks like a great time, except for the heat.
You should be safe from vampires for a week or two.

 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
How in the world .......... do you judge appearance on those ribs, they all look alike to me.
Most of them probably got a 9 for appearance, the highest score. At this level of competition, most teams know how to turn in a beautiful looking box of ribs.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
You should be safe from vampires for a week or two.
They brought in a case of garlic for judges to pick from to take home, I grabbed 8 heads. The kitchen smells lovely. :D

I think I will smoke them tomorrow to make a paste, then freeze in portioned amounts for future use.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
Chris, what happened to my post to you?
I deleted that post and replaced it with this one. No, I didn't get any garlic recipes, but I did bring home 8 heads of garlic. I'll smoke-roast them ASAP and freeze in portions for future use.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
FYI...I've been contacted this evening by family and friends asking if I'm OK in light of the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I am fine. I was judging barbecue there on Saturday, not today. Thanks for checking on me! Such a sad turn of events for a festival that's done so much good for the community over the years.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Well, that is very saddening. I just can't comprehend how some people get so twisted around and screwed up. And I never will.

Its beyond senseless.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Barb and I are so glad that your okay Chris and our hearts go out to those injured and the families that lost a loved one. How tragic.
 

Barb D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Chris, glad to know you are ok. It is a sad thing when people can't get together and enjoy a good time, then something like this happens. our hearts and prayers go out to all those people.
 

Cliff Bartlett

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Glad to see this post from you Chris and know you're OK. I'm so sick of these outlandish, brutal attacks on innocent people just out enjoying life.
 

JimK

TVWBB Olympian
FYI...I've been contacted this evening by family and friends asking if I'm OK in light of the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I am fine. I was judging barbecue there on Saturday, not today. Thanks for checking on me! Such a sad turn of events for a festival that's done so much good for the community over the years.
Glad to hear that, Chris! I heard about the shooting on the radio and was worried you may have been there. Such sad news - I don't know why anyone would be driven to do such horrible things.
 

Top