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BBQ genius

Tom Boyd

If you pay attention, you can see a certain type of person hanging around Moe’s Barbecue on a summer day. There’s a light in their eyes when they get up close to the smokers, and then there’s a lot of standing around, chatting it up, talking about the finer points of sauce, and a whole buncha eating.These are the folks who are insiders in the barbecue world. The average rib-chewer or slaw-cruncher knows enough to love the stuff, but it’s only the best of the best who can really get down and talk about the ins and outs of BBQ.If you’re one of these people (and even if you’re not), then you’re lucky. Most BBQ extremists live in Kansas City, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama or Tennessee (read: somewhere in the South). But the best of the best are coming to Colorado for Beaver Creek’s Blues Brews and BBQ May 28-29. Kansas City’s finest will mingle with the valley’s top chefs, and the result will be ah, saucy (to say the least).These guys have custom-made grills and smokers including some designed to look like trains or spaceships. Some of them only recently opened restaurants they spend most of their time as professional competitive barbecue chefs.Hungry yet?How about thirsty?The Park Hyatt got this event up and running with their top-of-the-line beer tasting event 11 years ago. Beaver Creek only recently jumped in the game and made the beer tasting the central event of a Memorial Day weekend bash, so now there’s plenty of suds to go with the sauce and music, too. Good, strong, blues music, provided by the Harry Baxter Band, serves as a side-dish to the meaty meals. More beer here! The largest all-Colorado micro-brewery beer tasting in the state will be in its 11th year when it gets under way May 28 at 1 p.m. at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa. There are all kinds of discount packages to stay right at the center of all the happenings, so if you’re into that, check out Beavercreek.hyatt.com or call (970) 949-1234. Even for locals, getting a room up in BC Memorial Day weekend might be just the thing. With 33 breweries showing 75 beers, there will be plenty of opportunity to kick a few back. The event lasts until 5 p.m., and there’s a few optional seminars on brewing through the afternoon. The appropriate word is “slather,” and it is intended for sentences like: “We slather the brisket with a special blend of spices and sauce before smoking it for eight hours.” Other words of choice are “Angus beef,” “prime,” “burnt ends,” and “slaw.” There is an entire nomenclature to accompany your palate if you’re interested in taking the BBQ challenge up at Beaver Creek on Memorial Day.After tasting it all, you get to vote for who’s the best. Last year’s people’s choice award winner is back this year. Smokin’ Guns BBQ, led by “Big Gun,” or “Gunner” (take your pick), smoked the 2004 crowd with their burnt ends, which Gunner assured us are the best in all Kansas City.This is Kansas City BBQ, not Memphis BBQ, so don’t expect too much vinegar and if you’re looking for white sauce, look somewhere else. Smokin’ Guns prepares their burnt ends for as much as 18 hours, and they’ll be serving them up for a mere $3 a pop at Beaver Creek. Moe’s Barbecue, the local favorite, will also be on hand. These boys have their own brand of ‘Bama cookin’ goin’ on, which is more akin to the Memphis style of BBQ. There’s a lighter feel to the sauce, and most of the time people will toss a little slaw onto their sandwiches. The boys hope to have their Lionshead, Eagle, and Eagle-Vail locations up and running by the time Memorial Day happens, but they’re offering their pulled pork sandwich at Beaver Creek BBQ for sure. They’re also doing a bacon-wrapped turkey skewer. This is the same Carolina turkey which comes in their stinging-good turkey sandwiches, but this time it’s wrapped in bacon and cooked on skewers. Moe’s guru Ben Gilbert said they normally only do this kind of thing for catering so it’s a special treat for those who haven’t had it at a wedding, function, or raging party. You can count on Geordy Ogden to try something a little different. Ogden, the executive chef up at Beaver Creek’s Saddle Ridge, is known for a menu laden with pleasant surprises. He knows the big boys from Kansas City are full-time pros when it comes to competition BBQ, but he also knows he can show the crowd something a little different. Ogden’s slaw, for example, will have a bit of an Asian flair: Nappa cabbage, a bit of soy, and Julienne vegetables will provide a bit of a deviation from BBQ’s straight and narrow. A pulled-pork sandwich, however, will keep Saddle Ridge’s menu on course. VT– For more information on Blues, Brews and BBQ, see Beavercreek.com.


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