By Natalie Covher
The downtown riverbank was packed with grill masters this weekend for the annual Cookin’ on the Cane BBQ Festival Saturday, June 5 hosted by the Natchitoches Area Jaycees.Even though parts of the festival had to be changed because of the weather forecast it didn’t slow down the cooks. Teams started arriving Friday evening and began preparing their meats.
“They laughed at me when I called to ask if they were still coming to cook in the rain,” said event coordinator Jason Stelly. “These guys are having a good time and expressing interest in coming back next year.”
The official BBQ competition is governed by the International Barbeque Cookers Association(IBCA) and is a State Championship with points counting towards the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbeque. A total of 28 teams competed for $5,500 in cash prizes and awards.Each entry was given a number and the judges did not know what BBQ entry belong to what team. The blind taste test for the four different categories(kid’s Q competition, chicken, pork spare ribs and brisket) took over three hours to complete.
“I look forward to this event every year,” said head IBCA Judge Brad Caraway. “I used to cook in it and was even reserve grand champion one year. IBCA is very happy with how things are run at this event. We love it. It’s a great venue in a beautiful city.”
After a lot of tasting the results were in and awards were given to the top 10 in each category as well as overall winners including Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion.
Over All Winners:
1st Chris Griffith Grand Champion
2nd Brady BoudinReserve Grand Champion
3rd Chris Sharry
4th Danny Titus
5th Barry Smith
6th Matt Redd
7th Gray Cartwright
8th Rhonda Titus
9th Dennis May
10th Brian Lipps