Competitors showcase BBQ at ‘Meet the Cooks’

The St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce hosted its Business After Hours “Meet the Cooks” Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Morgan City ahead of this weekend’s Bayou BBQ Bash. From left, Danny Hebert of Franklin and Danny Titus of Youngsville talk to Bayou BBQ Bash founder Don Tellman at “Meet the Cooks” Thursday. Titus served barbecue spare ribs at the event.
(The Daily Review Photo by Zachary Fitzgerald)

Rhonda Titus of Youngsville was preparing for the third annual Bayou BBQ Bash today under the U.S. 90 bridge in Morgan City. She will compete against her husband Danny Titus this year along with other cooks. Rhonda Titus won first place for her brisket at last year’s competition.
(The Daily Review Photo by Crystal Thielepape)

Organizers say events to go rain or shine

Several competitors in the Bayou BBQ Bash gave the public a taste Thursday of the barbecue they will put up against other cooks Saturday.
The St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce hosted “Meet the Cooks” Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Morgan City.
The Bayou BBQ Bash event scheduled for today and Saturday will go on rain or shine, St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce President Donna Meyer said. “These people that are signed up for the cooking contest, this is how they get their points to get in the big Jack Daniels international contest,” Meyer said.
Bayou BBQ Bash Founder Don Tellman expects about 50 entrants in Saturday’s competition.
Chamber of Commerce Vice-Chairman and Hampton Inn General Manager Bob Harrison said about 275 to 300 people showed up to Thursday’s event.
Danny Titus of Youngsville, served ribs at Thursday’s “Meet the Cooks.” Titus and his wife, Rhonda, have made all three years of the Bayou BBQ Bash. “She competed last year, and I cooked for the public last year. She got first place brisket,” Titus said. “She’s going for that again this year.”
Rhonda Titus will also compete in the ribs category this year. Danny Titus said everyone told him the ribs were good so they thought she cooked the ribs. Rhonda Titus and Danny Titus will compete in all three meat categories on different teams, he said.
The Titus’ have been coming to Morgan City for monthly meetings to help prepare for the bash, Danny Titus said. “It’s been a great event here because it’s under the bridge and cool,” Danny Titus said. The couple travels to about 10 to 15 cooking competitions each year, and has been doing so since 2009, he said. Danny Titus called his cooking “just a weekend hobby” as he does not own a restaurant or catering service, he said.
Danny Hebert of Franklin, who works for Cameron, is part of Cameron’s corporate team that will compete Saturday, he said. The Cameron team has participated in the competition all three years, and this year is Hebert’s second year to be on the team.
Craig Smith of St. Amant, served hot wings at Thursday’s event and will compete in all categories Saturday, he said. Smith has not been to many competitions lately because of work, but he has attended the Bayou BBQ Bash all three years and plans to keep coming, he said.
Expanding the bash to include events on Thursday is a good way to get the public more involved, Smith said.
Don and Mata Tellman also served sides at “Meet the Cooks,” while B&G Smoke House served pulled pork and slaw.
BBQ Bash events planned for today under the U.S. 90 bridge in Morgan City include live music from Déjà Vu from 6 to 10 p.m. Arts and crafts booths will be set up from 4 to 10 p.m. Food and beer booths will be available from 5:30 to 10 p.m. A mandatory cooks meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m.
On Saturday, arts and crafts booths will be set up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A “Kids Zone” will be available from noon to 5 p.m. A Quilters Guild Booth will be set up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live music will begin at 9 a.m. Seabrook will perform from 9 to 11 a.m. Don Rich will close out the event performing from noon to 4 p.m. Food, soft drinks and beer will be sold from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday’s competition will be an International Barbeque Cookers Association Sanctioned State Championship Competition with categories for pork spare ribs, brisket and chicken. Competitors must cook all three food categories to be qualified for the grand champion prize. The bash is organized by the St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce.
The competition includes a Corporate Cooking Team Throw Down Challenge for bragging rights for the Best Corporate Company Cooking Team in St. Mary Parish, and a BBQ Sauce Competition, according to a news release. Teams are not allowed to cook with gas cookers. Competitors can begin cooking after their meats have been inspected. Cooks will start turning in their meats at noon Saturday, and an awards ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m.
The event will also have barbeque competitions for children, called “Kids Qs,” for the following age groups, ages 13 to 15 years old will cook chicken legs; and 12 years old and younger will cook pork chops. Food categories will be provided for the kids competing, and they will turn in one of their meats to be judged. Entry fee is $10 and each age group is limited to the first 15 entries. For additional information and rules visit www.stmarychamber.com.

By ZACHARY FITZGERALD zfitzgerald@daily-review.com

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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