Picking up where we left off:
When I got to the Grill Kings contest in Long Island, I was glad to see that the contest had improved dramatically from the previous year. Not only was it now a sanctioned state championship, but some of the big bad boys of BBQ were there. To name a few, there was Dr. BBQ, Dirty Dick's and the Legless Wonders, Daisy May's BBQ, and the Philly Pigs. In my mind, the two teams to beat were Dr. BBQ and Daisy May's. I don't know exactly why I was fixated on them, but Dr. BBQ was easily the biggest name there and had just published a cook book. And Adam Perry Lang, Adam was the big city celebrity professionally trained chef who was living my dream. I'd show him!
If you've ever been to a barbecue contest, right about 1:00 am things start to settle down. Everyone's got their meat in the cookers, or in the marinades and rubs. Most people are settling in for a few hours sleep, the partiers have just about left and the pit bitches are watching the fires.
Me, I don't sleep. So with beer in hand I went a wondering. I watched some of the poker being played and said hello to the other pit bitches as they tended their fires. I was a bit surprised to find Adam up and working on his briskets. He had the greatest setup; very minimalist, sparse, clean and efficient. I wanted to check it out, but was a bit leery based on our first meeting. Adam noticed me and called me over.
I was really surprised with our conversation. Instead of a know it all celebrity cook, I found a genuinely nice guy. We talked about the contests, his equipment (easy now this is a family blog!) his setup and his restaurant. He even offered me a tour of the restaurant when we got back to the city. He asked me all sorts of questions about why I was into BBQ, about my experiences, recipes and cooking methods. I asked him about financing and how I could put my dream into reality.
The next day at the award ceremony, Daisy May's went home empty handed. We took first in pork and fourth overall. Dr. BBQ took the grand championship.
The next weekend, when I arrived late at the Hudson Valley Rib Fest, Adam came over and brought me some of his steak to try out. I was really touched by this gesture. As I mentioned earlier the steak was damn good. But I was late and had to get to work with my Brothers in Smoke.
That night, in the twilight of the pit bitch, Adam and I spent more time talking. We went over a lot of the same things, and I gave him an idea for a recipe that he used on BBQ with Bobby Flay. And he offered me what ever assistance he could with building my own place. I am very impressed by that. And very grateful. One of these days, I'm going to take him up on it.
And at the Hudson Valley Rib Fest it was our turn to watch Adam walk with some prizes. Daisy May's BBQ came in third overall, while we had our worst showing yet with 11th place.
So dear readers, if you haven't been to Daisy May's in awhile, head on over to the corner of Eleventh Avenue and West 46th Street and support a genuinely nice guy who makes some pretty damn good Q. You won't be sorry.