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Southern California State Championship
TEAM  BBQbyDan (Coyote Road Kill) take GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP

Gary Balbach, Bill Wight, Rick Streiff, & Dan & Barbara Cannon

Barbecue Cook-off at Follows Camp was success despite heavy downpour

November 14, 2002

By Carl Kaun and Bill Wight, cbbqa, Directors

AZUSA, CA -- Saturday, Nov. 9 in the San Gabriel canyon was gloomy and wet, with an unending low cloud cover, and precipitation ranging from a heavy misting to a moderate but unceasing rainfall. The road to Follows Camp was open, but punctuated by rocks fallen from the surrounding cliffs, and an occasional small slide across part of the road. When Carl arrived at Follows, black scars from last summer's fires fingered their way down to the camp in a multitude of directions. Carl was told that Follows was indeed the source of many backfires used to fight those blazes.

Soggy and muddy view of camping area from the community center judging area. Fortunately, the recent fires spared most of the hillsides around Follows Camp. The orange cone marks the sinkhole where it was rumored that six barbecue judges disappeared.

Eleven cooking teams were busy with their tasks under shelters ranging from a couple of EZ-Ups clipped together to give reasonable working space, to the commercially available garage-like enclosure of the Arizona kid, and to the simple but elegant and extensive cover constructed by Dr. Don for the Dueling Bubbas.

Dan Cannon had his new Ole Hickory pit mounted on a trailer, with a make-shift tarp mounted above for cover. Bill Wight, shameless in his attraction to that shining stainless stove, stoked it as part of the Coyote Road Kill team. Other teams in attendance were The Rib Doctor, Outlaw BBQ, Big Moose BBQ, BBQ n Fools, Lakeside BBQ, and a local Follows team, Controlled Burn.

The Out of This World team was conspicuous in its absence, as the CHP turned away Gene Goycochea and his trailer (after a two-hour wait) at the bottom of the hill the night before. The CHiPs feared Gene would not be able to turn around on the narrow roads leading up to Follows Camp should he encounter a slide.

Stealth Barbecue, being true to their name, waited until the CHP went away, engaged their cloaking device, then drove on up the wet and winding road to the camp.

We were surprised to see the Change Smoker in attendance. Ed Bell said he got a lot of "urging" to "Do Follows".  Everyone was happy to see Ed and his sons at the event.  The other teams were glad that Ed decided to give someone else a shot at the Grand Championship after two consecutive wins at Follows.  Ed, you are a true gentleman.

Joe Miles and Andy Refalo put on a great performance Friday night cooking for the cooks. Joe's beans got a perfect score of 180 in everyone's judging book.  A special thanks to Dr. Don for getting the meat for Friday's night's dinner.
The judging was held in the community center across the stream, which grew steadily throughout the day into a small river. Carl was pleased to see people he hadn't seen for good long time, including Roger Cole. Gary Tackett showed up for the judging, as he had come up before Gene and his trailer were turned back.

During the judging, the food Carl tasted was mostly quite good, and he gave only an occasional 7. Carl shared a table with Roger Cole and Jeff Jones, who had driven down from the Bay area, and with a couple of people from Follows Camp. The other table included Gary Tackett and Joe Miles.

The awards were also held in the community center, hosted by Joe Davison, and assisted by Ray Shokatfard and KCBS Rep John Hopkins. The award for the team that came the farthest was won by Big Moose Barbecue, from the East Bay, in a coin toss with the Arizona Kid, from Phoenix. Controlled Burn BBQ, the team composed of the Follows Camp Volunteer Fire Department, also got a special award.

For the Grand Champion, John Hopkins started with the 11th ranked team and worked his way up.  Finally, there was only one team who had not been called and that was Coyote Roadkill.  Dan and Rick could not believe it and had to be poked by teammates to get up and go forward.

After the award ceremonies, Dan Cannon's main comment was, "At last". Carl was very surprised to learn that this was Coyote Roadkill's first Grand Championship. Dan assured Carl that the chicken entry this time was really fresh chicken and not possum scraped up off the highway. With "Roadkill" in their name, one always wonders what's really in their turn-in boxes.

Sunday morning dawned clear and bright for the Grand Champions, Team BBQbyDan (Coyote Roadkill). L to R, Gary Balbach, Bill Wight, Rick Streiff, Dan Cannon, chief cook, and Barbara Cannon.  Hey Dan, you going to have to add a wing on your house to hold all those trophies?

Scott Williams of Stealth Barbecue nosed out the Rib Doctor for Reserve Champion.

Reserve Champs Stealth BBQ with Chief cook Scott Williams, Joe Davison, and team member Steve Munn.
A footnote to this picture, Joe Davison (middle) passed away 30 days after this photo.  He was a great person, great man, and a pioneer to building BBQ in California.  He is missed by everybody!

Lakeside Barbecue took a first place in Pork, just squeezing by the Rib Doctor, an odds-on favorite to repeat another win in Pork.

Joe presents trophy and check for first in pork to Lakeside BBQ, Billy Bruggema and Dean Hayes. KCBS Rep John Hopkins and Cook-off coordinator Ray Shokatfard join in on the presentation.

Only one of the BBQ'n Fools showed up, but Grant and his wife Jeni proved they were no fools for cooking without Tom by taking a first in ribs and a third place in chicken.

First Place winner in Ribs was BBQ'n Fools.  Joe presents trophy and check to Grant and Jeni Ford . KCBS rep John Hopkins is on far right.

Outlaw BBQ team had an impressive double first in beef--tri-tip and brisket. Now if they can learn to cook chicken, ribs and pork as well, watch out for those Outlaws! 


Outlaw BBQ garnered a first in both Tri-tip and Brisket.  Team members are Audrey and Lee Fisher and son Matt.  Not shown but on the end of the leash is the pooch, rumored to be the team's beef expert.

Roger Wagner, the Arizona Kid, had another harrowing trip to a barbecue contest.  He hit a rock on the road up to Follows and blew out a tire on his trailer.  He made it up to camp in the wee hours of Friday morning by going 'low and slow', just like his cooks his Q.  We heard that he used a large sausage link to make a replacement tire for the trip back home.

Roger Wagner, the Arizona Kid, had another harrowing trip to a barbecue contest.  He hit a rock on the road up to Follows and blew out a tire on his trailer.  He made it up to camp in the wee hours of Friday morning by going 'low and slow', just like his cooks his Q.  We heard that he used a large sausage link to make a replacement tire for the trip back home.

Joe presents a first place trophy and check for the chicken category to The Arizona Kid, Roger Wagner.  If you're ever in the Phoenix area, drop by Roger's restaurant, Pitsagain for some great Arizona barbecue. 

Another cbbqa team, The Rib Doctor with Hayward and Eva Harris took  3rd place overall.

The top five teams in each category:



1. Outlaw BBQ
2. Stealth BBQ
3. Big Moose BBQ

4. Dueling Bubbas
5. BBQbyDan



1. Arizona Kid
2. BBQbyDan
3. BBQ'n Fools 
4. Change Smoker
5. Outlaw BBQ



1. BBQ'n Fools
2. BBQbyDan
3. Outlaw BBQ
4. Stealth BBQ
5. Lakeside BBQ



1. Lakeside BBQ
2. Rib Doctor
3. Stealth BBQ
4. Change Smoker

5. Big Moose BBQ



1. Outlaw BBQ
2. Stealth BBQ
3. BBQbyDan
4. Rib Doctor
5. Dueling Bubbas


Thanks go to Joe Davison for organizing the contest, and to Ray Shokatfard for all the work, and to John Hopkins for repping it, and to all the cooks and their helpers for making it happen. We're all looking forward to the next contest at Follows Camp.

CBBQA Business

As cbbqa President Gene Goycochea was not present, nor many other CBBQA members, by common consent the members meeting and board meeting were not held. We shall have to make future arrangements for these. All in all, it was a wet day, but a day spent 'cuing and eating 'Q is better than just about any other day, and we had an awful good time.



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