Published: July 7, 2011
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For this week’s Meet the Pros, we had a chance to interview Lukas from Black and Blue BBQ competition team. They are an up and coming team located in Chicago, there goal is to make it to Memphis in May in 2012! So without any further delay here is Black and Blue BBQ.
Grilling with Rich: My first question that I always ask my guests for the Meet the Pros Series, is what made you start to barbecue? What did you like most about it?
Black and Blue: I am new to the BBQ scene just starting about 3 years ago. It all started with my father-in-law’s “Scientific Ribs”. After spending an afternoon and a few beers with him in his backyard watching how he made ribs was great. It wasn’t anything complicated, just a rib rack and a weber kettle grill. I was amazed how easy it was to make ribs! I got a few BBQ cook books that week and was making my own ribs by the next weekend. That lead to brisket which lead to pulled pork which lead to chicken and whatever else I could get my hands on. I love the BBQ lifestyle. Sitting back, tending a smoker, honing my craft, talking to other enthusiasts and eating some good BBQ!
Grilling with Rich: Why do you think that a lot of people love to barbecue?
Black and Blue: People love to BBQ because BBQ is awesome. Anyone who has a love of hanging out in the back yard, having a few beers, spending time with friends and eating the ultimate comfort food will be drawn to BBQ. When they find out it’s something anyone can do they figure hey, why not give it a try. Next thing you know you’re out there every chance you get, trying different things and cooking great food.
Grilling with Rich: And How did you get started in barbecue competitions?
Black and Blue: Most of what I have done in BBQ is because of my curious nature. I was hanging out with a friend of mine and we decided to take a trip to Memphis in May because we wanted to go on a BBQ vacation. When we got down there and realized you don’t get to walk around all day eating BBQ we were at first disappointed. After a few hours of walking around we noticed a theme at Memphis in May. BBQ people love to eat and party. This is something realized I could get behind and immediately began work on assembling a team and found an event not to far from my house. After spending the night out at the competition with my brother we knew this was something we wanted to do.
Grilling with Rich: What inspired you to make your own sauce?
Black and Blue: Good BBQ should have some good sauce to go with it. I didn’t see the point in making my own rub and after cooking a brisket all day putting store bought BBQ sauce on it.
Grilling with Rich: Is the process a challenging one? and if so, why do you think it is a challenging venture?
Black and Blue: It is challenging. The reason is that I have the idea of what the perfect BBQ is. I have been all over the United States eating BBQ and know what I want Black and Blue BBQ to taste like. The challenging part is finding the best way to reach that goal. We make progress every time we practice.
Grilling with Rich: What do you like the most about barbecue competitions? And the least?
Black and Blue: I like hanging out and getting to know other teams. The thrill of planning a 14 hour cook and having it done in basically a 5 minute window. Its crazy. The part I like the least is that I live on the 3rd floor of a building with no elevator. I picked the place before I got into BBQ and carrying my smokers down 3 flights of stairs kinda sucks. Actually it really sucks.
Grilling with Rich: What was your greatest accomplishment?/biggest disappointment in starting your own barbecue sauce and also particpating professionally in barbecue competitions?
Black and Blue: The greatest accomplishment was getting my food turned in on time the first time I entered a competition. I haven’t won anything yet but feel confident this year. It always seems like I am up against the best in the business but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Grilling with Rich: What do you like most about barbecue competitions and what do you like the least?
Black and Blue: The teams.
Grilling with Rich: What is the single most important piece of advice that you can give to professional, amateurs about the sport of barbecue?
Black and Blue: Just do it. You think it’s the monumental ordeal and something you might not be able to do but BBQ is like all things. If you take it slow, take the time to do it right you will be happy in the end.
Grilling with Rich: This might be an odd question but is there something that you don’t like about barbecuing?
Black and Blue: Nothing really. I don’t really like when things don’t go as planned or expected.
Grilling with Rich: What is the most essential tool that every pitmaster must have in their arsenal?
A big sharp knife and a cooler of beer.
Grilling with Rich: What is one thing that your fans don’t know about YOU that you would like to share?
Black and Blue: I am basically winging it.
Grilling with Rich: Can you give us a sneak peak on your next great barbecue adventure?
Black and Blue: This year we are leaving Chicago to compete. I think the event I am most excited about is the Sams Club event in June here in Chicago, but the idea traveling 5 hours to cook all night and come right home is just nuts. Lets do it.
Grilling with Rich: Well thank you for taking the time and visiting Grilling with Rich. By the way, what do you think of the site?
Black and Blue: Site is cool! I really like it. For starting this less than a year ago it’s impressive how much you’ve done.
Grilling with Rich’s Meet the Pros Series interviews the big chefs, pitmasters, celebrity pitmasters, celebrity chefs , and the Who’s Who in the barbecue and grilling world! if you are interested in participating and or sponsorship in the Meet the Pros series send us an e-mail to Meet the Pros
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