RE: Kansas City Barbecue Society
I went to the 4th annual New Paltz Rib Fest on Sunday. The event is sanctioned and judged by both the Kansas city BBQ people and the New England BBQ society and is sponsored by the Highland, NY Rotary club- they all seem to work well together and run a very good show. There were 54 contesting BBQ crews this year (one came all the way from Texas) - that's up from about 20 the first year.
I'm sorry to say the consessionaires, as usual, for the most part, put out pretty mediocre stuff. Jack McDaniels has been reliable in the past, but this year he was not personally on site (at least while I was there) and the quality of his ribs showed it. I did have a pretty good pulled pork sandwich from Moe's BBQ, but the only sauce they offered was a too hot sauce that tasted too much of Louisiana Hot Sauce.
I tasted several ribs from contestants and they were universally not so hot - one was burned and sweet, although I'm sure the judges were able to find some outstanding BBQ and properly reward those folks. An unusual aspect of the Rib Fest is a requirement to cook some sort of apple dish on the grill - I saw some amazing dishes being prepared - things I'd never dream could be cooked on a grill - one lady had individual ramekins of apple cobbler that looked like they could pass muster in a four-star restaurant.
It's always fun to attend the Rib Fest - the contestants are all friendly and many of them will take the time to talk BBQ with anyone who is interested. I'd like an opportunity to talk to some of the judges some day, but they are always sequestered at the times I'm in attendance.
BTW: As I scanned over the crowd I saw a whole lot of people who looked to me like fellow Roadfooders - it occured to me that it would be nice if we could have some sort of modest tasteful pin we could wear identifying us as Roadfooders when we attend events like this...