Barbecue pros from across the Bay Area will battle for titles in four categories: chicken, ribs, tri-tip and chili. The team with the best overall score will be crowned BBQ King Cook-off Champion. Last year’s winner, Bill Souza of Pacifica and his team, Big B’s Down ’n’ Dirty BBQ, were first runner-up in the 2012 California BBQ Association’s Team of the Year standings. Big B’s knows how to smoke meat to perfection, but Hog Island Pitmasters from Discovery Bay, which tied for ninth in the Team of the Year standings, and Bowling Over Pigs from Brentwood, which placed 15th, plan to challenge Souza for the title.
Locals are welcome to tour the barbecue battlegrounds and learn secrets straight from the pros. These barbecue masters know how manipulate dry rubs, glazes and marinades to create some of the best ’cue you’ve ever tasted. Between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m., attendees are welcome to sample the taste-bud-bursting fare.
Advance tickets are available now at Harvest Park Bowl (5000 Balfour Road), Brentwood Fine Meats (3877 Walnut Blvd.) and the Brentwood Press (248 Oak St.) for $20. Tickets purchased at the event cost $30. Children under the age of 12 eat for $15, but why not make it a family affair? The Family Pass, which includes two adult meals and up to three kid’s meals, runs for $65 ($50 in advance).
Make a day of it, as Harvest Park Bowl will feature a special Super Bowl bowling package from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Games cost only $2 and shoe rentals are free. Festivities also include kids’ activities, a demonstration by Twin Tigers Academy of Self Defense, a chance to sit in the front seat of a police car, and a special appearance by football superfan Gorilla Rilla.
After the barbecue has been savored, stick around for the game. Harvest Park Bowl boasts 15 big screen TVs – perfect for watching Quarterback Colin Kaepernick lead the Niners against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. This will be the first time since the inception of the King Cook-off that San Francisco’s gridiron warriors have made it to the Super Bowl. The Niners have made five appearances at the NFL’s top showdown, and they’ve won every time.
If you’ve already got your own Super Bowl celebration planned, you can still enjoy a variety of barbecue goodies. Brentwood Fine Meats is offering Super Bowl packages: two-pound tri-tips for $26; six chicken breasts for $24; and a rack of ribs for $20. Place your order now by calling 925-513-0595 – advance orders only.
The annual PAL BBQ King Cook-off is a fundraiser for the Brentwood Police Activities League, an afterschool program that establishes positive relationships between local youth, police officers and community leaders. PAL programs provide alternatives to gangs, drugs and other criminal activities through an array of activities such as afterschool basketball, tennis, martial arts and bowling, which is hosted at Harvest Park Bowl. Brentwood PAL recently opened a youth center at Edna Hill Middle School, which offers an afterschool safe haven where kids can meet with mentors, receive homework help and have fun.
The fundraiser’s proceeds are also shared with the East Contra Costa Historical Society, which celebrates the histories of Brentwood, Byron, Knightsen, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island and Oakley. The Society’s museum, located in Knightsen, opens for the 2013 season in March.
For more information about the PAL BBQ King Cook-off, call 925-516-1221 or 925-513-0595.