Experiences of one of the historic European team
Scott and Lyndz Lane, known in the world of competitive barbecue as Miss Piggy’s UK, is one of the first teams born in Europe, but more importantly, able to prove their longevity, confirming top of the charts over the years. The numbers anyway are impressive: 194 awards in 6 years of competitions, first not American/Canadian team to exceed 700 points in a competition and win a contest in the US, 2 times European champions EBCC and 7 walks at the Jack Daniels Invitational. I Miss Piggy’s UK were also one of the first teams to approach the American concept of the term: they are one of the most active teams in the circuit, they reached to participate in 17 competitions per year and launched their own line of products and courses. In fact, it is now one of the most experienced teams in Europe, which has seen more competitions in more countries and in more situations. A few hours to the recovery of the season we wanted to have a chat with Miss Piggy’s UK to share with you these experiences
Miss Piggy’s UK is in the European circuit since its early hours. How did your relationship with competitive barbecue start?
Our love for bbq food started in around 2008 whilst on vacation in the Florida Keys. After a couple of years of ‘practice’ we took part in our first competition in 2010.
How much and in what the European BBQ has changed over the years?
European bbq has changed massively. When we started, our first contest was 8 teams and that was probably all there was in England then. There was no kcbs involved. Then Harry Havinga held the first kcbs contest in Europe and a year later we organised one in England. The following year there were around 6 or so and then Europe exploded with competitions. Whilst the U.K. is somewhat behind, Europe’s growth is fantastic to see and be a part of.
Over the years, participation in American competitions is a frequent date for Miss Piggy’s UK. How these experiences have changed the way you do barbecue? Which category has been more affected?
When we first visited America in 1999 we fell in love with the country, the people and cuisine. We decided we would like to visit every state. When we started to compete, that aim changed to a desire to compete in every state. Every time we go we learn new techniques as our American cousins are 30 years ahead of us in Europe. This has affected every category.
Express as a percentage on the final result, the importance of the raw material’s quality for each of the four categories
Chicken 20% Ribs 60% Pork 60% Brisket 60%
Is there a category you feel as natural and instead one you would gladly avoid in competition?
Brisket has always been our favourite category. We would gladly avoid Ribs.
In a few days you will renew your wedding vows. Being both a couple and teammates was an advantage on your results?
We think so. A successful team in any sport needs to know each other well and understand each other too. Most of the top teams in America are man and wife teams.Se potessi tornare indietro agli ultimi cinque anni di competizioni quali errori non rifaresti e cosa invece avresti fatto molto prima?
How you feel that the flavor profile of the various nations affect the final ranking in a competition?
When we first started to compete around Europe we would try to change flavours for different countries but we stopped doing that a couple of years ago. There isn’t a lot of differences in the judges preferences now.
What is the victory that in last years more fixed in your memory?
Probably the first Ruhrpott. It was, at that time the biggest competition in Europe and the biggest prize. Also that was the first year of EBCC, which was awarded then, at that contest. We never expected to win both because before the competition we were a long way behind the leader. It was a great feeling to receive both awards with all of our bbq family present.
In a overview of teams more and more equipped over the years you have defined a your own standard that allows you to approach the competition in a very lean and flexible way, minimizing the stuff and logistics expenses. Have you ever had to feel it as a burden?
No it is never a burden. If a team or cook enters a competition feeling any burden, they will surely fail. It is difficult sometimes if you use different equipment, especially cookers, but in England we have saying ‘a bad workman always blames his tools’. If we do badly in a competition it is our fault, not the equipment.
On your web site you mapped the countries in which you have competed and collected license plates taken in each of these. To what extent the opportunity to visit the world affect your desire to compete?
We have a great collection now. We also collect from the states we have competed in the U.S. This does affect where we choose to compete. If there is a competition in a new country we would choose that one over one in a country we have already been to.
What competition was more exciting from the competitive point of view and what was the most beautiful under the profile of the context in which it was organized?
The most exciting competition for us has to be the Jack. The best teams from around the world competing against each other for the title of World Champion.
The most beautiful. We would have to say an Italian contest. WEST is the most beautiful setting ever for a contest.
In which new country would you like a barbecue contest to be organized so to have the opportunity to go there?
Spain would be awesome. It nearly happened 4 years ago when we were helping a potential organiser but they didn’t go ahead. There was talk of a contest there this year but it would be great, as that is where we used to live, where we met and where our first son was born.
Other places further east would be good too, Poland, Russia.
In May there will be the Brew’n’Q, a very ambitious project and a unique competition of its kind. How did the idea?
We basically copied the idea for the format of the competition from the American Royal. The Royal is the largest competition in the world, with 500+ teams taking part. Brew n Q won’t ever be that big but the format is the same with 2 competitions in one weekend. First an Invitational for competition winners and then an open.
What projects have Miss Piggy’s UK for its future?
We have just launched our first Rub ‘Cowpat’ with another to follow soon. We also have a range of rubs, sauces and injections coming as a result of a collaboration with the producers of Cowpat.
On the competition front. Compete as much as possible. Travel as much as possible. Above all that, have as much fun as possible with our bbq family.
Thanks to Scott and Lyndz for your willingness and good luck for the incoming season.