In honor of the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Draw happening tomorrow, I thought we would focus this week’s BBQ & A on former Jack winners. You’ll find two cooks who have already been a part of the weekly BBQ & A, and an additional pair of competitors that I am really excited to have featured here. That's right...this week it's 4 for the price of 3!
- Donny Teel is an accomplished competitor and has won dozens of Grand Championships as Buffalo's BBQ, but in 2005 he teamed up with fellow Okie Bart Clark of Twin Oak Smokin’ Crew under the banner of Boys from Tornado Alley to claim the top spot at The Jack.
- Scottie Johnson took The Jack Grand Championship honors home to the Windy City in 2006 for his team, Cancer Sucks Chicago.
- Chad Hayden of Taylorsville, Kentucky - known simply as “Podge” - cooks under the name Moonswiners and won the 2007 Jack.
- Kelly Wertz scored the big win in the most recent Jack Daniel's Invitational last year, and came home to his restaurant, 4 Legs Up BBQ in Great Bend, Kansas as the best BBQ cook in the world.
I want to once again thank everyone for so willingly answering my silly questions. Guys like Kelly, Chad, Donny and Scottie are the real deal and I can’t thank them enough for getting back to me so quickly.
This week’s question is something that not a lot of cooks think about…and even less really have to worry about it anyway. So…how did you get that big Jack Daniel’s Grand Championship trophy back home with a long road trip ahead of you? Where is your trophy now?
Donny: Our trophy from the Jack got transported home in the front seat of the truck with Mr. Jack seat belted in. Now days the Grand Champion trophy is really small compared to the one that I have. The one I have is approx 4 ½ feet tall, made of barrell slats.
Who Kept the trophy? You or Bart?
I have it. Before we left, Bart said that if we won that I could have it since he had one already (Twin Oak Smokin’ Crew won in 2001).
Scottie: I had Jack right next to me for my drive home. He was my co-pilot. I had to get back home, so we could start making arrangements for my dad (who had passed away the Friday of the contest). I even put the seat belt on for him!!! I now keep it in my family room. I had a special base made for it from a Jack Daniel's half barrel. I am not big in displaying trophies, but I have Jack, my TOY medal, my first GC and my foundation's award for 5 years of raising money for cancer research. Everything else goes into big Rubbermaid containers.
Jack is Scottie's co-pilot
Podge: I laid it down in the back seat of my truck, and wedged some things in there to keep it from moving around. Here it is, sitting in the corner of my living room.
Podge's Jack trophy
Kelly: We usually travel to contests pretty light so trophies, if we are lucky, they usually just go in the back seat of the pickup. The Jack trophies got wrapped in blankets and stuffed in all the safe places we could find in the trailer and they made the 900 mile trip just fine. They are now proudly displayed on the Jack Wall in our restaurant..
Got a good idea for a question to ask our featured BBQ & A cooks? Shoot me an e-mail! firstname.lastname@example.org