Another Happy Customer....
I stumbled across this article by LAist about his or her "miserable" experience at BBQ'n at the Autry. They went to a BBQ festival and didn't eat any BBQ!
It seems that the fine folks over at LAist have discovered that BBQ Festivals are usually just BBQ contests and that the competitors are not allowed to sell or sample their wares for the general public. Health Departments in most jurisdictions require that anyone selling or giving food to the public be licensed. Most BBQ competitors are hobbyist and not licensed or equipped to feed a festival crowd.
I blame the food network for mis-leading the public. Everyone expects to be able to attend a BBQ contest and eat from each team. It's just not the case. Most events will have some food vendors selling BBQ. Unfortunately due to the litigious society we live in, this is probably the best the organizers can do.
I'm sorry that LAist feels misled, but the Autry website clearly states: " Taste championship quality barbecue from outstanding vendors such as: Cheers Catering's Taste of the West Barbeque, George's Traditional Barbeque, Silvio's Brazilian Barbeque, Sun Chow's Pan Asian Barbeque."
BBQ'n at the Autry is a relatively new event held each year at Los Angle's Griffith Park. From everything I've ever heard from the competitors this is a great event. Well run, well manged, planned and executed. From what I hear, the cooks have a great time.
So if you want to go to a BBQ contest and eat the competitor's food, go become a BBQ judge. Or volunteer to be a dishwasher for a team, or help them break down. Believe me, you'll have more BBQ then you could ever eat.