We recently received an email from one of the organizers of the first annual Future Legends of BBQ competition in Flat Rock, NC. The event, a fundraiser for the Henderson County Young Leaders Program, is scheduled for October 10th. It is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), which means it is a competitive barbecue cooking event, and has a mid-September entry deadline. (Visit the North Carolina Barbecue Society if you believe it is a crime, or at least an insult, that a group with the word Kansas in its name is involved in sanctioning NC-based barbecue competitions!) What makes the Future Legends event special is that the competitors are, well, children.
If the thought of witnessing a team of 7 to 17 year olds manning (boying?) a pig cooker for hours on end doesn’t sound worth the $5 price of admission, you should get your head examined. Of course, if the thought of a team of kids cooking doesn’t scare you half to death, you also should get your head examined. Actually, the concept makes some real sense, given the fear that pitmasters are a dying, or at least rapidly aging breed. Unfortunately for NC BBQ fundamentalists like myself, the competition focuses on cooking ribs rather than cooking whole hogs or shoulders, but maybe ribs will be the “gateway meat” to hook these kids.
Finally, since this tidbit is too good to pass up, one article on the event includes a quote from the Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival’s Jim Tabb, who is helping advise the Future Legends organizers. Tabb summarizes the logic of exposing kids to BBQ cooking competitions as follows: “You have tennis, you have golf — you don’t have to do any of these things. But you have to eat.” Hard to argue with that logic. Game. Set. Match.