I started out with The Slabs as the "Party Coordinator". I secured sponsorships, cooked the party meat, and chilled and partook of the adult beverages. After the 1997 American Royal Tom & Josh asked me if I would cook with the team. After accepting the invitation I was looking forward to the '98 season. In January 1998, my brother Tom passed away and it became a mission for me to carry on his name.
Kyle joined the team and with the mentoring of Smokin' in the Boys Room's Richard and Lynn Kancel and through trial and error we've been fortunate to have accomplished a lot. BBQ is a family affair. My sister, Val, is a night owl and we call her "The Maintainer" for staying up late. My son, Brent, is our junior member cooking in the Kids Que's where they're available. He doesn't think it's too bad to hang out with Mom on the weekends!
What do I do? Purchase the items, PR, I'm known as the "Lettuce Fanatic" to many produce managers across the United States.....basically I make sure that we have everything we need and that things run as smooth as possible.
If you're ever at your local grocery store and you pass by the backroom of the produce section and you see a chick in a do-rag picking through boxes of lettuce and parsley, using their equipment to make it the way that I want it, its me... stop by and say Hello!
My first experience with competition barbeque was like a lot of other peoples, the party. I specialized in the American Royal 1996-1998. Fortunately, no hard evidence remains, only rumor and sketchy memories (something about Vodka and freight trains and moving from the "Zoo-Side" to the Invitational side), indicates that my party skills were accomplished.
In 1998 I was asked to join The Slabs and found out about the other way to party at a contest... cooking it. My first contest was Pleasant Hill, MO. It rained from dawn Saturday until 2:00 pm. We finished 8th out of 15 teams and were called 3rd in Brisket. I've been hooked ever since.