Tenth Vista BBQ Classic Held on Saturday at Antique Gas & Steam Museum
TR Robertson –The huge RV’s and cookers were in place located in a special section of the facility, the smell of incredible BBQ was in the air the minute you got out of your car and the tension was evident as we walked through the cooking area as 34 teams were in full preparation mode for a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned cook-off held at Vista’s Antique Gas & Steam Museum last Saturday. Held for the 10th year in Vista, this is one of numerous KCBS events held throughout the year in numerous U.S. cities on most weekends. This event is held in conjunction with Legendary Events and the Pride of Vista Lions Club who sponsored a number of the activities held during the BBQ cooking contests.
Photos by Carolyn Robertson
My wife and I wandered the areas where the monster cooking units were located. Everyone was engaged in preparation of the various meats they would be sending to the judges. These rigs are massive and cost thousands and thousands of dollars. All of the groups are comprised of teams of people with a chief cook and assistants who each have a specific duty within the cooking unit. One of the best parts of seeing the groups is the clever names they have come up with for their cooking teams. We also spoke with a number of the participants and they all stood out for their love of events like this. We met Kimberley Robles, whom we were told is #1 in the state for Desserts, specializing in her cheesecake she learned how to prepare from her Grandmother. Most of the cooks were very secretive about their recipes and especially about the sauces they prepare.
The BBC Classic began at noon with one representative from each of the teams bringing one large Styrofoam food container to the Assembly Building, with six portions of chicken that will be portioned out to one table of 6 judges. Thirty-six judges, sitting at 6 tables sat in one of the large buildings on the Gas & Steam Engine grounds, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the food they would begin to judge. Each judge would receive 6 pieces of the meat item, from six different competitors and the tasting began. Following chicken, thirty minutes later, came Pork Ribs on the bone, followed by Pork ending with Beef Brisket. An Atomic clock is used for the timing and the contestants are allowed a minimum of a five minute variance from the posted due times, anything later is not accepted.
As I wandered inside the judging area I found these folks not only love good BBQ, but they love their involvement in this event. I met a husband and wife, Jeremy and Paula Kirchner from Pasadena, he had been judging for 5 years and she was judging in her first contest. There were father and son judges, husband and wife judges and individuals who just like the comradery and excitement of the event. We met Jake Harc, from Rancho Cucamonga, who started judging at 16 and is now in this third year of BBQ judging. We were allowed to sample some of the extra food items and I cannot imagine how the judges can pick a winner, everything tasted good to my wife and me. You can take a half day class to be a judge and join the 21,000 members of the KCBS organization and take part in some of the over 500 contests held world-wide every year. Go to www.kcbs.us or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For this BBQ contest the winners were:
- Grand Champion Masters Series – Big Poppa Smokers
- Reserve Champion – Burnin’ and Lootin’
- Chicken – 1) 7 Sins BBQ 2) Burnin’ and Lootin’
- Pork Ribs – 1) Team Woodshed 2) Burnin’ and Lootin’
- Pork Shoulder – 1) Big Poppa Smokers 2) Smokin’ It Up BBQ
- Brisket – 1) Dad’s Chillin’ and Grillin’ BBQ 2) 7 Sins BBQ
- Dessert – 1) B’Makin’ BBQ 2) 7 Sins BBQ
- Two new categories added where contestants had to use Cabo Wabo Tequilla
- Cabo Rita – 1) Vegas Grillbillies 2) Jolley’s Bad to the Bone Barbeque
- Cabo Infused – 1) Girls Can Grill 2) Grumpy Bear BBQ
While the BBQ contest was well underway, other events were going on at the same time. The Pride of Vista Lions Club crowned a new Miss Q Classic 2019, Allyce Calloway from Vista and a performer at Legoland. Also competing was Madison Hughes from Vista and Valerie Arguello from Oceanside. The Lions Club also sponsored a watermelon eating contest, hog callin’ and a frozen t-shirt event. Patrons could purchase great BBQ from one of the five grilling units selling food, visit the Saloon for beer, mead or wine, visit the various vendors selling an array of items, stop by Indian Joe’s to try their latest beer, visit Hidden Hive Mead and wander around the various exhibits of gas and steam engines in the various storage areas, take tours of the facility or just grab a table and enjoy the music and atmosphere of the BBQ Classic.
Over 50 volunteers helped Legendary Events, the Pride of Vista Lions Club and the KCBS workers put on the event. The Gas & Steam Engine Museum covers 55 acres and is comprised of 14 buildings, halls, barns, cottages and other exhibits (like the Model Railroad Exhibit). There is also a narrow gauge railroad, a sawmill, gristmill, steam engine and gas engine row, a playground, food court and a small gift shop. The museum is open most days 10-4, cost for admission is $5, seniors $4 and children up to 12 $3. More information is available at www.agsem.com or phone 760-941-1791. The museum has a Speakeasy Themed Event, called Night at the Boiler Room, coming up on August 23rd, only open to 21 year old and older. Attendees are to dress in 20’s style costumes. Go to the website for tickets.
There is a possibility this is the final time the KCBS Vista Classic will be held at the Gas and Steam Engine Museum. Legendary Event Management says, “some exciting announcements are coming soon. Be sure to follow the event on Facebook or Instagram.”