The sky may have been gray and overcast and the wind conditions blustery this past Saturday but nothing could dampen the spirits, nor douse the pit flames of the barbecue, chili, and grilling fanatics that assembled at the St. Mark School in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, for the fourth annual Grillin' on the Bay competition, which also included the Brooklyn Chili Smackdown this year.
From seasoned professionals to complete novices, who made up for their lack of experience through infectious enthusiasm, a dozen teams competed in categories for chili, chicken breast, pork, and fish as well as "chef's choice," which had no ingredient limitations and a Top Chef-like "rapid fire" challenge featuring a mystery ingredient. This category produced a number of interesting and surprising (for a grilling competition) dishes, such as a braised short rib over a mushroom risotto from Wildwood Barbecue.
Husband and wife team Julie and Brendan Burek of Transformers BBQ, who took first place overall, first place in pork, second place in chef's choice, third place in fish, and sixth place for chicken.
[Editorial note: Adam introduced us to them at the American Royal Barbecue in Kansas City last year, noting their awesome logo and mantra: "More than meats the eye."]
Clockwise from left: Robert Fernandez, Matt Fisher, Andrew and Scott Smith Fischel from RUB BBQ.
The event was organized by Robert Fernandez of WhiteTrashBBQ and Matt Fisher, AKA the Backyard Chef, as a benefit for the St. Mark School and was sanctioned by The New England Barbecue Society, making it the only event of its type that takes place in New York City.
Robbie Richter served as an adviser and Fisher catered the event with his mobile smoker; he completely sold out of barbecue. The event was sponsored by RUB BBQ, Butternuts Beer and Ale, The Woodman, and Pat La Frieda Meats who supplied the mystery ingredient.
Big Lou of Wildwood BBQ placed second over all and garnered first place in chef's choice, third place chicken and fourth place fish.
Ribs Within placed third overall taking first place trophies for chicken and fish and a third place trophy for pork.
Robbie Richter and Josh Ozersky
The Beer Belly Porkers
Smoke on the Water
Pearl Lee Q's
Complete results can be found at the New England BBQ Society
1. Ribs Within
3. Wildwood BBQ
1. Ribs Within
3. Transformer BBQ
1. Transformer BBQ
2. Team Agave
3. Ribs Within
1. Wildwood BBQ
2. Transformer BBQ