Phil Rizzardi is a happy man. Exhausted but happy. The organizer of the 5th Annual Battle of the BBQ Brethren, which took place over the weekend in Manorville, said that the event “could not have been more of a success.”
Rizzardi estimates that about 2,500 people attended the two-day affair. Between the admission fees and food sales, Make-A-Wish of Suffolk, the beneficiary, collected about $5,000 in donations.
On Saturday, 18 teams took part in a grilling competition. The grand champion was a Patchogue team, Blazin’ Butts. Second place went to Ed-QUE-cators (Northport) and third to Centereach’s Smokin’ Irish. The top four grilling finishers also competed in a “Chopped”-style mystery-basket grilling “shootout” against Paul Kirk, a. k. a Baron of Barbecue, world champion many times over and partner of RUB BBQ, the Manhattan barbecue restaurant that is set to open an East Meadow branch later this month. The shootout winner was Ed-QUE-cators, who took the preferred lamb chops, eggplant and jicama and made a Jamaican-inspired meal.
On Sunday, 42 teams competed in a New York State championship sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. The grand champion was team IQUE, most of whose members live in Massachusetts. This was a huge win for IQUE, according to Rizzardi. “It was the tenth consecutive year that these guys won one at least one grand championship. There are very few teams in that circle.” Second place went to Wantagh’s own Swamp Pit and third went to Fat Guys in a Little Smoke, hailing from Long Island, New York and Westchester. Click here for the complete results.
The winners: Ethan, right, 13, and his father Chris Hart, of Hopkinton, M.A., competing as IQUE, celebrate as the N.Y. State BBQ champions during the 2011 Battle of the BBQ Brethren in Manorville.