State BBQ cookoff changes venues from Memphis to Kansas City

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2004

DEMOPOLIS-The 2004 Alabama State Barbeque Championship Cook-off that is held every year during the Christmas on the River festival has changed from a Memphis in May event to a Kansas City Barbeque Society event.

So, what does this mean to the average Joe walking down the street? Not much, but for a griller, it means a whole lot.

The chairman of the 2004 cook-off Jack Cooley said there wouldn’t even be a noticeable difference in the event. He also said the decision was made back in September of 2003 to switch from a Memphis in May event to a Kansas City Barbeque Society event.

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“There were may reasons both positives and negatives as to way the committee decided to switch the events,” Cooley said, “But the positives far out weighed the negatives.”

He said one of the major factors for the decision was the profit margin that committee planned to make from the event. He also said they would save 25 percent more of the money by switching to a KCBS event then staying with the MIM event.

Another reason for the switch was the committee wanted to make the event 100 percent about the meat and not about how big or how expensive the grill is.

“The KCBS judging is 100 percent blind, which is a big difference than the Memphis in May judging where it is done at each site,” Cooley said.

The committee also wants to make sure to sellout all their spots this year and that was another factor in the switch. He said they will have 36-41 teams this year and they’ve already had 21 commitments already.

“We want to make sure we have 100 percent certified judges for the event and we will be offering a training session at a later date to make sure we have that,” Cooley said.

He said he knows some people will be upset with the changes, but they will ultimately make the event even better than it has been in the past.