The Season for giving, Christmas 2013, Operation BBQ Relief, Diva Q, Charity


Tis the Season for giving. An organization run by people in the BBQ community has now given out more than 500,000 meals. When you are thinking about your Donations whether they are Corporate or Personal please consider Operation BBQ Relief.  Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts. Also for this weekend only up Big Poppas Smokers will match contributions up to $5000.00 US – make sure you mark donations King of the Smoker.

Operation BBQ Relief


Homemade BBQ Rubs, CHristmas BBQ Giving, Diva Q Christmas


Each year we hold the annual Dimovski Christmas party. It is a tradition that we love. I love getting together with our friends for some festive cheer and fun.

I like to give people a tray of cookies or something festive as a parting gift after each party. This year I made a few batches of BBQ rubs and filled up mason jars. Attached a tag with some rustic  jute twine and done.  You could also attach an easy recipe that you love using the rubs. Easy gift to give !!


Here are some of my everyday use BBQ rub recipes:

Cajun Rub

Chicken Rub

Beef Rub 

Here is my go to – all purpose Pork & Chicken Rub – the yield is 2 cups and is ideal for doubling up.

BBQ Tag, BBQ Christmas, Homemade BBQ gifts, BBQ Rub Jars


Jack Daniels 2013 World Championship Invitational Barbecue


Home from the Jack Daniels 2013 World Championship Invitational Barbecue.

The Diva Q BBQ team was lucky to be drawn for the I know Jack…About Grilling contest. This is a separate contest held on the Friday morning of the Jack Daniels competition weekend.  Entrants are selected by random draw – 4 teams from the US and 1 team from the International Teams. Diva Q was drawn for the International Teams.

Each team is allowed to bring two members maximum. You are also allowed to bring 1 spice, 1 bbq sauce and 1 optional ingredient. It is a black box contest where you do not know what you will be grilling at all. There is a very strict time limit of 1 hour to complete an entree, a side and an appetizer.

I took my teammate Jessie with me to compete.  It was a cold morning for sure and we were all bundled up.

Team Diva Q at the I know Jack...about grilling contest

 Photo Credit: John Thompson – Eatapedia



The teams that were drawn for the competition: 

Can you smell my pits

The Boys from Tornado alley

Southern Krunk BBQ Society

Blazin’ Buttz BBQ

The teams are sequestered away to the side of the Jack Daniels pavilion.  Then each team has a staggered start 10 minutes between each entrance. This provides the judges enough time to give the meal its full attention and no one gets cold food.

The Black box items for this year were:

  • Mahi Mahi
  • Shrimp
  • Green Beans
  • Soy Sauce
  • Honey
  • bacon
  • butter
  • arborio rice
  • white rice
  • chicken stock

& my favorite ingredient …. Jack Daniels Honey

Jack Daniels Honey


We brought a middle of the road BBQ rub, my Diva Q competition sauce , plus pineapple. I like pineapple with savory & sweet dishes so I thought it would be an interesting choice.  I also thought that a fruit would make our entry stand apart.

The equipment we were provided was 1 gas grill with side burner and a primo charcoal grill. Both were lit prior to us starting.

I have no pictures of our entry. Time flew by……

Time Flies



Our appetizer was relegated to bacon wrapped shrimp. Each team had to make the same appetizer following a recipe provided. We were required to use JD Honey & my competition sauce. Our bacon was in small pieces (no full slices) when we opened the package so we made the best of it wrapping away. WE then used grill grates to cook the shrimp.

Try these Diva Q Shrimp & Sausage bites…. delicious. 

While this was ongoing I toasted off the arborio rice in a pan on the gas grill to bring out the nuttiness. Jessie heated up the chicken stock and in went the green beans to soften them up quickly. The green beans were then grilled on the Grill Grates to finish and give them grill marks.

The chicken stock was added to the arborio rice and we stirred that rice (each of us took turns) until all of the liquid was absorbed we repeated this multiples of times then borrowed water from the teams next to us to continue cooking the rice.  That rice was stirred for almost 50 minutes. It was creamy deliciousness. Additionally anytime we cooked bacon slices we saved the fat and added it to the risotto. We finished the risotto off with butter and a bit of bbq rub. At the last minute I chopped up green beans & grilled bacon finely and added to the mix.

Jack Daniels Grilling Competition

Photo Credit: Randy Dunn – Thats The Way BBQ Go!

The competition is really intense. Everything is happening all at once and at one point I forgot to burp the Primo grill and singed off some eyelashes & eyebrows with the flashback.  Burning hair is never an attractive smell. … yikes!!

Moving on to our pineapple – Jessie had beautifully cut up the pineapple and I grilled it off on the grill grates. It looked amazing. For a topping for the Mahi Mahi I made a sort of pineapple salsa with a little JD Honey, slices of green beans and a bit of rub. We also left some of the grilled slices of pineapple whole for a presentation under the bacon wrapped BBQ shrimp.

Our Mahi Mahi was grilled at the last few minutes. I really did not want to dry it out. It was seasoned simple with BBQ rub, honey & a tiny bit of soy sauce (at least I think that is what Jessie seasoned it with LOL) . I placed the fish meat side down on the grill grates for 3-4 minutes at about the 10- o’clock mark  then turned it to the 1- o’clock mark for an additional 3-4 minutes. Once we had great grill marks I turned it over and finished cooking it skin side down.  Seconds before I pulled it from the grill I doused it all with Jack Daniels Honey and set it ablaze to give it a final finish.

Diva Q

Here is a great recipe from our friends over at Grill Grates for Mahi Mahi 

Plating came fast and before you know it Jessie & I had all the plates lined up. Jessie plated the bacon wrapped Shrimp with additional JD BBQ Shrimp on the appetizer plates. Then the entree- Big spoons of our creamy risotto and then very carefully sliced pieces of our grilled Mahi Mahi. I then stood there at the table looking at the plates thinking that I was missing something …. and as the clock got down to 5 seconds I remembered the pineapple salsa….

It made it on to every plate rather haphazardly but it made it… My teammate Patrick watching from the gallery said that it looked like I was throwing dice when I was putting the salsa on the plate.

It was all done then and wow was our adrenalin running high. 1 hour passed by like it was seconds.

We then had to talk about our dish to the Expert Judges:

Paul Kirk

Jim Tabb

Tana Shupe

 Melinda Keifer

Mark Kelly

I can’t remember what I said other than I called it Jacked Up Mahi Mahi. The rest is a blur.

Check out this video from our friends at BBQTV! They captured lots of great moments from the Jack 2013 & some portions of the grilling contest at the beginning.


We had to wait till Saturday for the results. We WON!!

I know Jack...about grilling winner, Jack Daniels Grilling Contest, Jack Daniels Barbecue contest 2013, Diva Q


To help celebrate our grilling win our friends at Grill Grate are giving away a set of their grates. We are big fans of these and have used them in many grilling contests.

Diva Q

Contest Rules:




All you have to do is leave a comment on the Diva Q Facebook Fan page under this contest announcement about why you love BBQ. The contest is open to both Continental US & Canada residents. 1 winner will be randomly selected from all the entries. LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER Household. Subsequent entries will be disqualified.  Contest is void where prohibited by law. Contest begins October 30 and closes November 6 at 7pm est. Diva Q accepts no responsibility for comments lost or unpublished. Winner will be notified via Facebook message.



UPDATE: Congratulations to Mark Burgmeier from OHIO who won the Grill grate contest!!



Camp Happy Days


Sunday October 20 BBQ Crawl will be in Charleston SC to help with a special Fundraiser.  Camp Happy Days  !!

Since 1982, over 350 children have taken part in Camp Happy Days comprehensive programs and 200 families have benefited from our family assistance program. It is though great guidance and leadership from professionals, our partnership with Hospitals across South Carolina and other cancer organizations that our programs stand above. From programs that offer respite from a child’s day-to-day worries of cancer to those that strengthen family bonds and provide financial support, each of our programs are designed to help improve the emotional, physical, and psychological health of children and families affected by pediatric cancer.

At Camp Happy Days, we believe that every child battling cancer in South Carolina should have an opportunity to benefit from a summer camp experience and other life-changing programs regardless of family income or economic status. Every program we offer is free to the families we serve.

What cancer takes away, Camp Happy Days gives back – lots of smiles, laughter and the pure carefree joy of being a kid. It is our goal to create powerful, life-changing experiences that helps children fighting cancer live their dreams, realize their potential, to overcome adversity and discover a renewed sense of pride and self-confidence.

Is there anything you have seen in your entire lifetime which is more beautiful than a smile on a child’s face? Especially if that child has an life threatening illness?? You and your staff should consider a trip to Camp Happy Days! Its a camp where sickly, ill and sometimes terminal children come to play, laugh and enjoy life. Its a Heaven on earth for these kids where pain, worries and fears no longer exist, even if its only for a weekend or a single week. It’s volunteering adults who care deeply about making a child smile or ensuring that child is comfortable or showering that child with love. Moms, dads and kids come together at Camp Happy Days and leave as “family”, bound together forever due to a common thread… Childhood Cancer.

BBQ Crawl Season 2

BBQ Crawl is dedicated to partnering & helping to raise funds for this amazing charity!!




Today was a very exciting day. Surprising and shocking. We had our bung drawn for the Jack. Team Diva Q along with a whole lot of other amazing teams from all over the US & the International teams. We will be one of 3 teams representing Canada along with Prairie Smoke & Spice, plus Pistol Packin Piggies.

See you all in the holler October 25& 26th!

Jack Daniel's 2013 World Championship Invitational Barbecue, Jack Daniels BBQ


Congratulations to all the teams who got their BUNG pulled today:

4:20 Q
A Boy & His BBQ
B.S. Pitmeisters
Bad Bones BBQ
Bar-B-Q 101
Bavarian Smoke BBQ
Big Pig Inc.
Blazin’ Buttz BBQ
Blue Chip BBQ
Caveman Cuisine
Deep South Smokin’ Que
Diva Q
Drilling and Grilling BBQ Team
Fired Up Smokers
Flyboy BBQ
Fork U BBQ
Hoosier Favorite BBQ
I.A.B. 30 BBQ
Insane Swine BBQ
It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere
JP Custom Smoke
Killer B’s BBQ
Lake House BBQ
Little Pig Town
Lo’ -N- Slo’ BBQ
Local Smoke BBQ
Missouri Shark Fisherman Club BBQ Team
Philly Blind Pig BBQ
Pistol Packin’ Piggies
Pit Bulls Up In Smoke
Pork Patrol BBQ
Prairie Smoke & Spice BBQ
Q Haven BBQ
Q U Smokin Krewe
Serial Griller
Smokin’ In The D
Southern Krunk BBQ Society
Swinestone Cowboys
That’s the Way BBQ Go!
TippyCanoe BBQ Crew
United Pork Smokers
Velvet Smoke BBQ
Who’s Smokin Now
Wine Country “Q”
Woodward Barbeque
Wooley Bully “BBQ Mafia”


Congratulations to those teams with Automatic Entries to the Jack:
2 Broke Ass Texans
3 Eyz BBQ
Across the Track Cook-off Team
Bear Naked BBQ
Blazen BBQ
Can U Smell My Pits BBQ
Cool Smoke
Fatback Joe’s BBQ
Gilly’s BBQ
Hog Tide Bar-B-Que
Jo-Bawb’s BBQ
Left Coast Q
Lonestar Smoke Rangers
Parrothead Smokers
Pig Skin BBQ
Shiggin & Grinnin
Stubborn Bull BBQ
Swamp Boys BBQ Team
Sweet Swine O’Mine
Transformer BBQ
Warren County Pork Choppers
Wilbur’s Revenge






It is always a good day when this comes in the mail. We qualified for the Jack Draw this year from our GC in New York.  Our team along with all of the other qualifying events in Canada will have our bungs (they are the stoppers from the actual Jack Barrels) all put into a hat. Out of those qualifiers 3 are chosen to represent Canada at the Jack. We have had this privilege twice before.  Hoping for good luck this time again. No matter what Canada has a lot of outstanding teams that really do know their BBQ!

Jack Invitation Draw


Jack trophy


The last time we went…. good things happened.



BBQ Crawl Season 2


It became official yesterday that BBQ Crawl has been renewed for Season 2 ! Very excited to finally share this with everyone. Here is the press release segment about BBQ Crawl from Blue Ant Media/Travel & Escape!

Canada’s BBQ Champion Danielle Dimovski will be back for seconds with BBQ Crawl Season 2 (13 x 30 min). In its first season BBQ Crawl drew the largest audience of any of Travel+Escape’s original productions garnering an unprecedented viewership for an original production on the channel. Season 2 continues the journey in the American South. Kicking off in Nashville Tennessee and ending up in Kansas City Missouri, Danielle will dig deep into BBQ culture and explore new hotspots along the way. Produced by RTR Media, Season 2 will premiere Spring 2014

For the full press release please go here.

So here it is I just want to say Thank you. Thank you to all the amazing places we went in Season 1 Thank you to all of the owners and the places and the friends that allowed us into their worlds. Huge thanks to all of my BBQ family and friends and all the fans of the show. I am blessed beyond blessed to have you all along for this journey. The team at RTR Media rocks. They worked so hard on season 1 and they have been working for months already diligently for Season 2. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate each and everyone of you all. We leave next week to start Season 2 -this year we kick off in Nashville there will be new places new adventures some new and old friends making appearances and of course awesome kick a$$ BBQ along the way. Can’t wait for you all to see it unfold. Big hugs much Love from me to you all!! XXOO Danielle

RTR Media  Blue Ant Media  Travel & Escape


BBQ Crawl Season 2


Visiting a BBQ Competition ?

Brisket Turn in Box

Visiting a BBQ Competition?

Here are a few tips on BBQ Etiquette


  1. BBQ Teams have paid to compete – please note most take it seriously. Teams pay for everything from the competition fee to the meats and supplies.
  2. IF you see someone walking a turn in box (usually a 9×9 Styrofoam box) please move out of their way.
  3. IF you see someone walking a tray of food items please move out of their way.
  4. Do not under any circumstances ever take any food from tables within a competition site without asking first. Most competitions do not allow public sampling. Please visit the vendors to purchase food and support the event.
  5. Be respectful of the competition sites. Do not cut through a team’s site to get to another section of the competition area. That’s like walking through someone’s house.
  6. Mind your manners, your pets and your children. Children and their parents should be aware that there are hot grills and sharp knives at every site. Do not let your children or dogs run around team sites. Do not let your drunk friends run around team sites either.
  7. Do not touch another person’s grills ever…. without asking first.
  8. The clock rules everything at a competition. Teams need to turn in items on a specific schedule.  During those turn in times teams may not want to have a conversation or stop to talk. It is nothing personal. These times are approximately 1130am-2pm however at each contest times can vary.
  9. Please ask before taking pictures of teams preparing their entries or of the teams themselves. Some teams would rather not have pictures of their items out in the public.
  10. Some events have adult beverage tents. Please enjoy responsibly.
  11. There are quiet hours at every BBQ contest. Please respect them.
  12. Please come out to the awards ceremony and cheer for all the teams. The more the merrier.
  13. Ask questions from teams in the non-busy hours. We love to talk about all things BBQ.
  14. Visit team websites like  & for more information about competition BBQ.



BBQ Crawl Official Logo


Super excited for all our friends family and US to be able to see BBQ Crawl. It will premiere July 3rd on the Travel Channel at 8pm EST for 2 back to back episodes!!

Hope you tune in and enjoy our road trip…it was delicious fun for sure!!


BBQ Crawl Travel Channel