The Big BBQ Bash took on new life at a new location and time of year and contestants liked what they saw in the new set up.
Members of Leadership Blount Class of 2007 started the event as a fundraiser for area charities and held it for three years during the spring on the grounds of the Alcoa Municipal Building. When construction of the pedestrian bridge across Alcoa Highway started, planners would have had to move the bash if they were going to host it.
In the spring, Helen Ross McNabb worked with the Leadership Blount Class of 2007 to take over organizing the Big BBQ Bash 2010. The event was moved to Maple Lane Farm and rescheduled to a mid-fall date. This past Saturday, Oct. 16, 12 teams competed in the event and took home $6,000 in prize money.
As in the past Big BBQ Bashes there were four categories: Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork and “Anything But” which meant the contestant could prepare anything but ribs but it had to be cooked on a grill.
Attorney and barbecue competitor Steve Greene liked the new setting. “This is a lot better. This is a great venue for it,” he said.
Barbecue competitor Scott King, owner of Washington Cleaners, said he liked having the Big BBQ Bash at the farm. “You have room to grow, and there’s more of a family atmosphere,” he said.
Barbecue competitor Rick Hudolin said he liked having more space and a different environment. “It’s a good spot. Maple Lane Farm is out of the way for us, but we have good bands, good music and good food, so what more could you ask,” he said.
Barbecue competitor Tim Helton with Standard Aero said his team represented the company, and they competed in all four categories. Helton said he has done the Habitat for Humanity barbecue competition in Loudon.
“The last several years we’ve tried to do charity events and hopefully we’re improving,” he said. “We have such a big family that we do it as a family.”
Phil Roy led the Roy Boy’s Barbecue team, and they were third place overall last year. “We’re hoping to improve. This is something we enjoy and can do together,” Roy said. “We’ve been cooking barbecue 25 years.”
Pua Kamaka of Waikane, Hawaii, was in town to see friends, and the experience was different from home-cooked barbecue for her. “I’ve never experienced Southern barbecue,” she said.
Todd White of Maryville liked what he saw with the Barbecue Bash in Greenback. “This is great,” he said.
Chris Flynn, a member of Leadership Blount Class of 2007, stayed on to help organize the event and transition planning over to Helen Ross McNabb. “It’s a new venue, and this is great and a different time of year. This is a great time of year to barbecue and all the teams have been very happy about the additional space,” he said.
Lisa Tuggle of Maryville like what she saw in the new venue that featured tents on either side of a long, wide open space facing a makeshift stage. “I love the country atmosphere and seeing the fall colors,” he said.
The Malloy Boys of West Knoxville scored enough points in all four categories to win Grand Champion honors. In “Anything But,” Greene received a trophy.
In the other three categories, first place received $750, second place took home $375 and third place earned $200.
• Chicken: First place - Malloy’s Boys; Second place- Backyard Boys; Third place - Big D’s Barbecue.
• Ribs: First place -- Happy Jose’s BBQ; second place -- Malloy’s Boys; third place -- BackYard Boys.
• Pulled Pork: First place -- Malloy Boys; second place -- Backyard Boys; third place -- Southern Pride.
• In the overall competition, Malloy Boys won Grand Champion, Backyard Boys won Reserve Grand Champion, Happy Jose’s BBQ took third, Southern Pride BBQ took fourth and Pure Pleasure Porkers won fifth.
Mark Malloy said he and his son, John Malloy, have been barbecuing about two years, and they started in the backyard. “I’ve cooked barbecue since the 1970s, and then got out of it. Then my son started dabbling in it, and we started cooking as a family,” he said.
John Malloy said, “It has been trial and error. We make our own sauces, rubs and injections. This is our seventh event.”