63.6 F
Winter Haven
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Poppa Pig Wins Grand Champ at Grills Gone Wild

Must Read

Poppa Pig Wins Grand Champ at Grills Gone Wild

by James Coulter

This year was the first for Eric Coley and his barbecue team Poppa Pig to compete in the Grills Gone Wild competition at Davenport. Lucky for him, for this being his first year, his team won the grand title of Grand Champion.

Most other champions would credit their success to the way they smoke their meat, or to their rub, or to the quality of their meat. However, despite his victory, Coley remained humble and owed his success to the one who grants good fortune.

“I owe everything to God,” he said. “Without him, I am nothing. I am blessed to be here.”

Coley decided to attend this year’s competition as it was one of the “gems” in the Triple Crown branch of the Florida barbecue scene. As for being able to win his very first year attending, the victory was nothing short of surprisingly satisfactory.

“It feels pretty good,” he said. “We have been on a streak this year so far, and we are blessed. Without God, none of this would have been possible. I know it wouldn’t have. We have just been staying consistent.”

Aside from owing his success to the Good Lord, Coley also remained humble in his victory by admitting that everyone else did a great job cooking and preparing their barbecue and could have easily won.

“I don’t think it is any product you can use,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think anyone who cooks out here, what they make tastes the same. It is the love you put behind it. You have to love this to do this because it is a hobby but it is a very special hobby. So you just have to put the time and the love and care behind it. I am very passionate about it.”

Paul Buob and his team Smoking Ghost BBQ won the title of Reserve Champions. As with Coley, this year was his first time attending and competing in Grills Gone Wild.

“We were going to try to do a three or four competition tour of Florida,” he said. “My mother-in-law, her 95th birthday is next week. So it is a great reason to come down.”

Their win came as quite a pleasant surprise. He owes his success to Smoke and Ghost Haunted Heat Sauce, a commerciallyavailable hot sauce that adds a “sneaky” heat to any kind of food.

“It feels pretty awesome,” he said. “We did not see it coming. I think everyone else must have slipped up for us to win.”

Grills Gone Wild was hosted at the Tom Fellows Community Center in Davenport last Saturday. Nearly 41 teams participated in this year’s event, which had shifted into a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS)-sanctioned competition.

This year’s event was a “gem” within the Triple Crown competition. The next event within that competition will be Ribs on the Ridge, being hosted this Saturday at Haines City.

“The turnout has been fantastic,” said Dustin Bleiweiss, Parks and Rec Superintendent of the City of Davenport. “We did not know what to expect, but with the feedback from the public, and from the competitors. There were minimal to no issues.”

Bleiweiss owed the event’s success to the support it receives from the community: “With them showing up and supporting us, it encourages us to come and be out here. So, for them to be here, we are here to put Davenport on the map; and with the teams traveling the continent, we are here to support them and grow our competition.”

- Advertisement -

Latest News

In Loving Memory of Richard Kevin Simo

Obituary of Richard Kevin Simo Mr. Richard Kevin Simo, age 87 a resident of Winter Haven passed away Thursday, April...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -