The WNC BBQ Festival

BBQ…who doesn’t love BBQ? And, after 4 years, the WNC BBQ Festival, otherwise known as “Smokin’ in the Valley” is back in Maggie Valley! In 2009, early in our innkeeping career, we were honored to have Scott & Joyce Jarret with us as guests. We quickly learned that Scott’s “hobby” was in competition BBQ. And quite a hobby it is! He owns a large rig and travels (throughout the country, but mostly in and around the Carolinas) as “Smoke This”, competing in local and sanctioned BBQ festivals. During their first visit, the breakfast table quickly turned to a lively discussion on BBQ and Scott entertained our guests with a 101 on the intricacies of this cooking style that has been around since the 18th century. Each area of the South has its own version of BBQ, barbeque or however you like to refer to it. Perhaps you’re a fan of Memphis style, with its vinegar/catsup based sauce, from Texas where you’d prefer beef barbecue, dry rubs, mustard based sauces, and so on. It’s probably all about where you grew up. Here in Western North Carolina, locals typically prefer a tomato based sauce, and Scott and his team are from right here in WNC. Regardless of where you grew up, whether you like brisket, pulled pork, chicken or ribs, there’s a BBQ for almost everyone, and we’ve found that discussions on food are always lively and everyone has a point of view. And so it was at our breakfast table this day.

Scott and his wife Joyce have been with us several times since. We’ve kept in touch with them and their BBQ adventures. His team has been very successful and actually won the overall championship the last time the WNC BBQ Festival was hosted in Maggie Valley. Unfortunately, the event has not been held for the last couple of years, much to the dismay of BBQ lovers both locally and for frequent visitors to the area. And BBQ lovers have missed out on more than just great food. The setting at the Maggie Valley Festival Fairgrounds is nothing short of beautiful. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the midst of the quaint town of Maggie Valley, the festival is one of many that serve as just one more activity to participate in while vacationing in Western North Carolina.

Once again, “Smokin’ in the Valley” has come back home to Maggie Valley (Saturday, July 27th, 2013). Hurray! And, so then did Scott and “Smoke This”. As in years past, the event is sanctioned by and conducted by KCBS or the Kansas City BBQ Society and adhered strictly to their guidelines. So the winners have some serious bragging rights. We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate “Smoke This” as they won 1st Place in the North Carolina Governor’s Cup!

We were so excited to see Scott as he and his teammate Steve Finger stopped by today on their way home from the competition and even more excited as we received the bounty they presented us with! Brisket, pulled pork and ribs…fabulous dinner for us tonight!!! “Smoke This” will be competing in Dillsboro next weekend and Franklin the following weekend. Best of luck, guys!


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