The report of the two competitions in Burton Upon Trent (GB)
This event has been talking for more than a year, when Scott and Lyndz Lane, members of Miss Piggy’s UK team, with whom we talked about in a interview, have decided to invite the winners (or the teams best placed among the uninvited) of each event of the 2016 season at Brew’n’Q, immediately renamed “the Barbecue Champions League”.
The Brew’n’Q follows the setting of one of the three major American competitions, the American Royal, where two events take place on the same weekend: an Invitational, followed by an Open that also accepts external inscriptions. The location is of a crazy charm. It is a historic brewery in Burton Upon Trent (GB), nowadays used as a historical heritage and museum, with a bar and restaurant service where you can taste many local beers. Those who are passionate about beer know that we are talking about the homeland of the IPA and in this sense I must say that the expectations have not been disappointed.
Scott and Lyndz have set up a truly top-notch event with almost uninterrupted active tap, dinners dedicated to English tradition, as well as providing to teams smokers, gazebo, tables, anything. Really remarkable, as well as the level of the teams invited: those that literally cut your legs. From wherever you look at the list you did not see but great stars of the European barbecue scene and I have to admit that we were worried not least.
At logistical level we must say immense THANKS to our brothers, the Pure BBQ who, besides being very nice tent neighbors, brought us from Holland everything we could need to compete as we were at home, from fuel, to tables, to even a fridge (!). Without you guys, all would have been a lot more complicated. We count on return the favor one day.
From a sportive point of view, however, we can say that it has gone quite well and we have not disfigured. In Saturday’s Invitational we brought home a first place in the Ribs category and a Pork Walk for a sixth place final, of absolute prestige. Get the good White Squirrel but especially for the RGC of our friends Brig Boys. In the Open we bring home a chicken walk (finally, this season was a curse) and a fantastic first place on Pork, this season’s nose but at these levels is a crazy result. Unfortunately we went very badly on Ribs and Brisket, which only led to a 22nd place. RGCs the strongest Bunch of Swine and GC once again of Italian friends: Bros Hog who have widely redeemed a performance not at their levels in the previous day. Great. Italy rulez!
I do not mind the details to give more room to the usual five things we bring home from Burton Upon Trent. In this case, this is two competitions in one, so things become ten:
- It can only start from a very beautiful story we have been spectators and we are happy our friends Bros Hog are the ones who lived that. We start from the assumption that despite in the country this is seen as a form of hypocrisy (we Italians are very good at wanting to see at all costs of rotting where there is not), the truth is that among the teams there is a form of “Ethical-competitive friendship “: if it were possible, everyone would want the first place (of course) and all his friends in the second as well, on the podium to celebrate all together. Clearly it is not possible and it’s clear then that we were very happy for our good performance on Saturday but we were sorry to see our friends Bros Hog so low. Here, however, begins the story: the Bros Hog wanted to experience in the first competition some courageous settings, the ones that spy, divide the jury into those who love and hate them. It has gone very bad, perhaps even worse than they actually deserved. The feeling is difficult to explain, but I can understand it: you measure with the strongest in one of the highlights of the year, do in any case some big barbecue (do not forget it here were all sacred monsters) and leave with broken bones. It’s as if a freight train passed on all your certainties. After a night of inevitable disappointment, they squared and recomposed themselves, made their “defense” preparations as they said, that is, with a simple and clean profile. The next day in a crescendo of emotions and they bring home the GC for one of those renaissance and ransom stories that do well to this sport. Congratulations, boys, we were sincerely and fraternally happy for you.
- After having rediscovered the Gin Tonic in Bardonecchia, On this weekend I rediscovered the Sidro. I have always been accustomed to the Sidro Bretone and for me that was the standard: good but one thing that tired me fast enough. There was a dry, fresh, sparkling English cider between the pub plugs. It was a real discovery: I would have dropped 6 liters in two days. From now on, the Sidro is English.
- I always wondered what it was like to drive to England where they drive by right. The other times I had been to England I had not hired the car and for me it was a first time. I have to say that the first few minutes are pretty blurry, your brain is flipping, you do not know where to go and what you have to do, and you’re always afraid to turn round in counter. I would like to see the movies of the car rental cameras because in my opinion there would be a lot of material for the Candid Chamber. Then slowly with the passing of the minutes you get used to it and it actually becomes almost normal. Still, epics remain the times when I got in the car from the left to drive looking for a steering wheel that was not there or when I waved my hand on my left shoulder as an idiot for 5 minutes looking for a safety bite that did not Could be there.
- This was my first double competition, Or two competitions one after the other on the same weekend. In my opinion, it was a great opportunity to measure the corrections of your cooking. Usually by judgments, if you do not have a comment card more than explicit, you can determine whether aspect of your preparation liked or not judged, but no one tells you in which direction you have to make corrections. You can try in the next competition but it changes the conditions, the jury, and it’s not easy to draw conclusions. For this reason, you collect data from most events before you draw a budget. In this case, we were more or less the same jury, of the highest quality and with many Master Judges, at our disposal. What to ask for more? From the first day to the second we made changes to all four categories. On two we went to the right direction, the other two in the exact opposite direction. Good to know for the next competition
- Compared to most other competitions, the two of Brew’n’Q had a different overnight. Usually the night is a very shared time between teams in the tents: it takes time between one stage and the other, chatting together and drinking something in a silent, continuous movement. In these two competitions the curtains were virtually all extinguished and the movement in the event field was almost null. Most top team adopters the Hot&Fast, So there is no need for the night watch that can be used to rest. We are not so used to it in Italy, but this is a fact of which we must keep an eye on.
- Typically, a standard competition is made up of the ten teams that make more competitions and who know each other very well, side by side with a number of new or less experienced teams, who may not even get into the so-called “Barbecue Family“. These two competitions, especially the first one, were from this point of view really unique: we knew everyone or almost everyone very well. The feeling of being in the middle was that of a Christmas dinner, where you find all the relatives, the ones you see every day, side by side with those you see twice a year. Anyway, relatives.
- With all our defects, but we are used to face the turn in time with great concentration and I have to say that from this point of view we work pretty well. I think during the Invitational we had the most “brisk” turn in of these two years. We were next to the speakers from which they broadcast great 80’s songs, one after the other, and we had maybe drank an extra cider over the recommended limit for those occasions. The result was that we did everything right and everything according to the plans but we did it joking and laughing as crazy and dancing while we were preparing the boxes. Wrong but very nice.
- The goal of each team is to identify a taste profile that suits everyone, giving stable results from scandinavia to turkey. Otherwise, there is a swing of results that makes it difficult the placing in overall. Those who follow us know that this year we have found a definitive square on Pork, after one year of work and small or large adjustments. Even this weekend we brought home a first place to confirm the long and meticulous work of Cecca. If it had to happen that one of our preparations reached the set goal as first, I’m glad it happened to him and that has happened right now. Cecca deserves it.
- As announced on our Facebook page, our friend Alfonsino Camassa, joined us throughout the weekend. I knew Alfonsino mainly through the chat, having met personally only a few times. In addition to finding a beautiful person in him (but I already knew this) and a very nice company, I found a character even more interesting than I found when I interviewed him. Al is settling his life as he wants, starting from scratch without any help and in a foreign country. And he’s doing very well. Chapeau.
- A friend at the time of greetings told me joking “wow, I thought the Italians know well how to cook the pizza, now I know they know well also how to cook barbecue”. This briefly sums up the Italian Job of the Weekend. The Brew’n’Q represented in this sense a nice page for the Italian barbecue movement. Between the best of the best in Europe, we take out a GC, an RGC, two first places, a second and two thirds of category and many calls with just three teams. We made a beautiful impression on an important stage.
This competition also ends. Next appointment again with an Invitational: the prestigious Prime Uve.