Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

July 29, 2013

Saturday is barbecue day downtown

-- — This Saturday, the 18th annual 100 Black Men of Valdosta Barbecue Cookoff will take its aromatic place on the Lowndes County Historic Courthouse Square downtown.

The annual event pits professionals and backyard chefs alike against each other to see who has the best chicken, the best ribs and the best beef brisket, with one chef chosen to be the overall winner.

The cookoff is not only a fun, festive atmosphere, but it’s one of the 100’s largest fundraisers of the year, with proceeds benefitting their many education and mentoring programs. It’s also a way for numerous local organizations to set up booths and sell their barbecue and other delicious dishes to raise money for their own causes.

You’ll find everything from drunken chicken to ribs with meat that will fall off the bone to the tenderest beef brisket you’ve ever had. All this from chefs that do this full time for a living to those who just enjoy backyard grilling.

The competition wins the chefs bragging rights for the year, which is saying a lot when the competitors are some of the biggest names on the local barbecue scene. A few old timers have stopped coming to the event to allow some of the new folks a shot at the title, but there are still some of the same chefs who’ve been around all 18 years.

The event will be all day Saturday, with judging around lunchtime. There should be food ready to sell to the public by late morning, and you often see people leave there with stacks of to-go plates, taking a variety to sample at home with family and friends. Or you can stick around and eat your way through the various booths, with prices pretty reasonable for all that you get, and listen to some great music from local musicians while waiting for the winners to be announced.

It’s a very popular community event; a great time for good food and good fellowship, along with some of the best barbecue you’ve ever had.

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