Upstate entry ‘meats’ Booooo-B-Que By The Sea challenge

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REHOBOTH BEACH – Barbeque bragging rights in the first Boooo-B-Que By The Sea were claimed by an entry from the First State.

Finn’s Finest BBQ, hailing from Middletown, claimed Grand Champion honors and the $1,000 top prize in the Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanction Halloween “spook-tacular” that brought 59 competitive teams to scenic Delaware Seashore State Park this past weekend.

“If it wasn’t us, then we were very glad it was them; they are good friends of ours,” said Milton resident Mike Jarrell, part of the three-man Slower Lower BBQ team that placed 24th overall. “We’ve been competing against them for the last several years. Being a Delaware team we get to talk with those guys a lot. We’re very happy for them.”

Finn’s Finest emerged tops in overall judging of pork, brisket, chicken and rib categories, besting runner-up Big Ugly’s BBQ from Maryland, third place Life Is Good But BBQ is Better from northern Virginia, reigning New Jersey champ Uncle Pig’s Barbeque Pit placed fourth and Massachusetts state champion Smokin Hoggz, which finished fifth.

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From left, Slower Lower BBQ team members Mark Stallard, Mike Jarrell and Ron Kalmbacher. Slower Lower placed 24th overall in the Booooo-B-Que By The Sea event.

“It wasn’t our best outing, but we did very well in pork; we got second place in pork and 11th in chicken. The other two others (brisket and ribs) – not so good,” said Mr. Jarrell.

Slower Lower, whose members included Mark Stallard and Ron Kalmbacher, both of Wilmington, has been on the competitive barbeque circuit since 2009.

Booooo-B-Que By The Sea was the last event of 2015 for Slower Lower BBQ, which earned several notable accolades this year, having finished as Reserve Grand Champion – second among 70 teams – at the KCBS-sanctioned New Jersey State Barbecue Championship in Wildwood, N.J., in July.

It also took top honors as Grand Champion at a non-sanctioned event recently in Dover.

“The first one of the season next year will be the Triple Threat in Harrington in April,” said Mr. Jarrell. “We’ll probably do some practice cooks over the winter; kind of get together and do some practice. As far as the competitions go we are off until April.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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