Friday, March 14, 2014

GRATE Times at the National Barbecue Association Annual Conference

The NBBQA holds a special place in my life and our business. We met Mike Mills in a dusty parking lot in Douglas GA in October 2008. He encouraged us to join the NBBQA and come to their conference in 2009 and we've gone every year since. The NBBQA is the heart and soul of this all american industry.

Three organizations/companies really stood out to help make this year's conference the best yet!
  1. The SHED, Linda Orrison aka “Mama Shed” is the incoming president of NBBQA. She
    worked incredible hours before and during the event to pull together so much content and talent it is hard to fathom. Linda had a lot of help but she herded the cats. The family SHED always shows up big and is always giving of their time and energy. What excites me the most is what will Linda do now that she is president? I have high expectations for the future of NBBQA!
  1. Meyer Natural Beef Products. There was a different smell in the air this year and it
    wasn't blue pork smoke! Meyer brought the world of red meat to NBBQA and fed this gang better than I have seen at any previous event. I learned a lot about “never / ever” beef and humane practices for beef production. Chef John Enright needs to do a Ted Talk! He has such a powerful message that is very timely to this organization and the public. Chef John also was the featured speaker / teacher in a day long workshop that has become a highlight of the annual conference. Meyer Natural Angus Beef Products are in stores under popular brands such as Laura's Lean Beef, Local Harvest, Greenwise and others. 
  2. Steak Cook-off Association. Brett Galloway brought the world of steak competition to the NBBQA. Brett convinced 3 World Championship Steak Cook-off winners and the organizer of the World Championship Steak Cookoff to come to San Marcos to compete in a steak competition. These champions were also pitted against 16 Low & Slow champions on Friday night in a celebrity grill-off . To cap it off these steak champs grilled 250+ steaks (in a driving rain) on Saturday night for the awards banquet. Merging the world of traditional barbecue contests with steak competition is magic. We all witnessed that Friday night and again on Saturday.

GrillGrate got a lot of content for our 2014 TV spot but more importantly we all got a much needed injection of time well spent with good friends around the grill! Thanks NBBQA for being such a unique and outstanding group of people. See you next year in Nashville!

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