Documentary shorts — unscripted — featuring farmers, artisans, and others
September 27, 2010. At the end of this week in Kansas City, is the 31st annual American Royal Barbecue Event, among the largest gathering of BBQ enthusiasts and serious BBQ competition cooks in the world. Sporting both an Open Competition, that draws barbecue teams from across the country, some even from other countries, and an Invitational Event where only the top teams are invited to participate, it’s as much about winning bragging rights as it is about the prize winnings that total in the tens of thousands of dollars.
This is a story of a seasoned BBQ champion, Larry Mayes, and his quest to win at the American Royal that I produced specifically for CUpS in 2006. For those who may want more, here’s additional information about the feature length DVD, Inside The World of Championship Barbecue that this shorter story is based upon.
It’s a long road, and it’s not easy, a personal look at a barbecue world champion:
Larry isn’t competing nearly as much as he had been when I first met him. He is now owner of a BBQ restaurant in Memphis, Fat Larrys BBQ. Anyone that runs a restaurant knows it takes up a good part of your life. But I do believe that the personal characteristics that have made him a champion on the competition circuit, aside from his great cooking skills, can only help to give him a competitive edge in the restaurant business.