State Championship Cook-Off
division teams compete
for coveted state title
passion for grilling into competition
(Aug. 11, 2006) The Indiana State Barbecue Cook-Off
Championship is a national contest sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque
Society, the worlds largest international organization of barbecue
by Don Ward
Connie and Todd Trobaugh
of Kokomo, Ind., have become serious
The Madison Ribberfest will once again play host to this
prestigious event on Aug. 18-19, with judging beginning at noon Saturday,
Aug. 19. More than 50 professional teams from around the country are
expected to compete for the title of Grand Champion and an opportunity
to participate in the American Royale, the KCBS World Championship,
held in October at Kansas City, Mo. The winner also qualifies for the
Jack Daniels World Championship Barbecue Contest, held in October in
Pepperitaville, a husband-wife team of Todd and Connie Trobaugh of Kokomo,
Ind., will be among the pro teams competing in Madison for this coveted
state title. Last year, the team had its best showing, finishing sixth
in overall scoring. They placed first in pork ribs and third in chicken.
They also picked up a check for placing third in desserts.
Todd, a salesman for a utility supply company, and Connie, a secretary
in the principals office at Kokomo High School, love to spend
their spare time experimenting with various spices and recipes.
We just love to cook, and we let our children and friends do the
taste testing, Connie Trobaugh said. She said they do a lot of
She laughingly recalled that on a recent Sunday, her adult son was driving
through the neighborhood when he smelled a scrumptious aroma wafting
down the street, and he just knew she was at home cooking something
on the grill. He had to stop by and see what it was.
The Trobaughs got started in cooking contests by doing local chili competitions.
They grow their own peppers and buy their spices in bulk to blend.
Connie said the team chose the name Pepparitaville for their
chili competitions, and it just carried over into the barbecue cook-offs
by Don Ward
Krininger holds out a sample
of pork for KCBS judges to see
during last years Ribberfest.
They worked on various chili recipes and came up with
what they thought was a winning combination. She said they use a simple
trial and error test to see what works. She said they decided
to jump in with both feet and skip the amateur competitions
to go straight for the professional ones.
That strategy seems to be working. In 2004, they won first place at
the Kokomo Red Hot & Wild Chili Cook-Off, and in this years
competition at the same cook-off, they won first place in several categories.
The team decided to try barbecue recipes in 2004, and in fact, that
years Madison Ribberfest was their first ever barbecue competition.
Connie said they were absolutely thrilled with how well they finished;
Pepparitaville took Grand Champion in the Fiesta Grill Challenge.
In 2005, the team finished first in Ribs, third place in Chicken, and
third place in Dessert at the Madison Ribberfest, and took Grand Champion
in Anything But at a Carmel, Ind., competition.
The Trobaughs travel and compete in about one competition a month from
March through October of every year. Connie said they used to joke when
they got started that they looked like the Beverly Hillbillies
because they had everything packed in the back of a pickup truck. Now
she said they have their own cooker and a hauler with a kitchen, bath
and sleeping areas.
The Trobaughs have a retail license and are working on plans in
the near future to sell their salsa, rubs, marinades and barbecue
sauces. Connie said, We are constantly working to improve our
products, and we just love what we are doing.
The Trobaughs say they are excited about the 2006 Madison Ribberfest.
They are hoping to become the Grand Champion and earn a spot at the
KCBS World Championship Cook-off.
Shawn Auxier, co-chairman of Ribberfests pro cooking competition
along with Drew Garrett, said he expects more than 50 teams to participate
in this years Indiana State Championship. As of press time on
Aug. 10, 54 teams had registered. By having more than 50 teams in a
KCBS contest, the points are tripled for those teams at the Ribberfest
who are also participating in a series of other events throughout the
year. That means more teams may enter at the last minute, once they
hear that the Madison event will offer triple points, Auxier said.
Each team pays a $200 entrance fee in Madison and works toward winning
cash prizes in several categories totaling $10,500. The team that wins
the most points in the four main categories is declared the Grand Champion
and receives an automatic spot in the KCBS American Royale.
Those four main categories are: chicken, pork ribs, pork butt or shoulder
and beef brisket. At the Madison Ribberfest, officials have added several
other optional categories, including anything but, dessert
and sauces. Auxier explained that a committee chose the themes of each
of those categories.
For example, in the Anything But category this year, the
theme will be seafood. The Dessert category has an apple
Cash and awards will be given to the top 10 finishers in each KCBS category
as well as Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion. The top three
teams will receive cash and awards in Dessert, BBQ Sauce and Anything
But. The awards will be presented during a ceremony inside the Brown
Gym and later announced on the Blues Bash stage at 4 p.m. The actual
cooking, which will be done on either wood or charcoal fires, will start
on Friday, Aug. 18. Teams will stay up all night cooking the meat and
then prepare the entries for judging.
Meats will begin coming in to the Brown Gym for judging at 11 a.m. Saturday.
More than 50 KCBS-certified judges will be required to determine the
overall winners in each category. Entries are judged based on appearance,
tenderness/texture and taste.
To learn more about pro cooking competitions and the
Kansas City Barbeque Society, visit: www.kcbs.us.
Pro Cooking Teams
Team, Captain, Hometown
Entered as of 8-10-06
Aunt Moomoos BBQ, John Hurst, Martinsville, Ind.
Bar-B-Quau, Mike Wozniak, Brimfield, Ill.
Bibee Team, Selena Bibee, Clearfield, Ky.
Birds Smokehouse BBQ, David Williams, Daleville,
Blind Rooster Seasonings, Brian Richardson, Columbus, Ind.
Buttrub.com, Bryon Chism, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
Egg & The Family Stone, Mike Stone, Prospect, Ky.
Falls City Smokers, Wendell Thomas, Smithfield, Ky.
Fumo Comedo, J. Scott Jackson, Covington, Ky.
G Spot Smokers, Brian Graham, Westfield, Ind.
Gem City Smokers, Eric Soller, Centerville, Ohio
Governors BBQ, Gary Roberts, Nashville, Tenn.
Grill Sergeants, Lance Givens, Indianapolis
Hickory Flats BBQ, Paul Everman, Versailles, Ind.
Hog Heaven, George Cook, Cincinnati
Hoosier Hogs, Fred Edwards, Valparaiso, Ind.**
Hopes B&B BBQ Factory, Brad Lucas, Hope, Ind.
Hosss BBQ, Robert Gatts, Indianapolis
JDs Smokers, Jim Ellis, Fishers, Ind.
Jim Dandy & the BBQ Rescue, James Emig, Sharonville,
Jimmys Hog Pen, Jim Weaver, Centerville, Ohio
Kingpins Smokehouse, David Siefker, Vernon, Ind.
Monty Pigthon & The Holy Grill, Sid Wibbels, Fisherville,
Moon Swiners, Chad Hayden, Taylorsville, Ky.
Pepperitaville, Todd & Connie Trobaugh, Kokomo, Ind.
Pig Pak, Mike Deshong, Lexington, Ind.
Pork of the North, Lawrence Spagnuolo, Saginaw, Mich.
R Gang, Ron Taylor, W. Chester, Ohio
Ribrunners, Ron Yater, Martinsville, Ind.
Rinky dink Smokers, Rick Callahan, Greensburg, Ind.
Rub N Que, Randy Lindenberg, Steeleville, Ill.
Sall Good Smokers, Greg Shell, Leo, Ind.
Shigs-In-Pit, Todd Grantham, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Shooter Flatchs Hoosier Hot Shots, Daleville, Ind.
Smoke Break BBQ, Tom Cuneo, Columbus, Ind.
Smoke Hawgs, Rick Reynolds, Louisville, Ky.
Smoked Signals, Doug Spiller, Madison
Smokin Irish, Tom Donnellon, Cincinnati
Smokin Q, Charles Wolven, Glenwood, Ill.
Smokin Ts, Troy Heitmayer, Mt. Vernon, Ill.
Smoky River BBQ, Roger Mogg, Spiceland, Ind.
Snake Pit BBQ, Jeff Toler, Carmel, Ind.
Stink-Eye BBQ, James Caldwell, Morgantown, Ind.
Sunset Smokers, Monty Anderson, Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Team Cleary, Keith Cleary, Hanover, Ind.
Ulcer Acres, Randy Twyford, Jacksonville, Ill.
Wildcat BBQ, Chris Cammack, Madison, Ind.
Zacks Century 21 River Valley, Mike Weeks, Franklin,
ZZ-Que, Robert Creech, Columbus, Ind.
** = Past Grand Champion
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