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.



Back in February of 2011 I was asked to test out some recipes. I did not hesitate at all and accepted. In fact I consider myself pretty damn lucky to be asked. These were not just everyday BBQ recipes. These were World Championship recipes from the people at IQUE. The book is Wicked Good Barbecue – Fearless recipes from two damn Yankees who won the biggest baddest BBQ competition in the world. The book is truly as it is titled- WICKED GOOD.

The recipes I tested:

Jack Daniels World Championship Ribs
I Que Rub
Pork Rib Marinade

These were recipes that made my taste buds dance, made my BBQ better and were enjoyed by everyone in my family. Well thought out ingredients – never skimping on quality, often sourced out to the best possible result were used.


I remember emailing some questions back and forth about ingredients and application. One of the things that came through clearly was that this is a book filled with unique fearless BBQ recipes.  They had a mandate to put out the best and they did. Complex recipes each adding a new element of flavor. Great recipes that you will return to time and time again.

All tried out – tested multiples of times. This is not a dumbed-down fluffy BBQ cookbook. This book was not just churned out with only 1/4 of the recipes tested. No this book is a solid book filled with terrific tips, incredible recipes and full of passion for the art of BBQ. I know many people who were seriously anticipating this cookbook (myself included). With good reason- it is a no holds barred culinary BBQ adventure book. They give up a crapload of competition secrets and some truly inspiring recipes.



Written by Andy Husbands (Fearless Chef, Tremont 647, Sister Sorrel), Chris Hart (IQUE) with help from food writer Andrea Pyenson. These men have some serious bbq chops. World Champions, outstanding culinary chefs with a  huge understanding of meat, smoke and fire. This is a new must have for anyone who wants to improve their everyday BBQ and to elevate their competition BBQ


From starting the fires to sourcing meats and adventuresome recipes this book has it all covered. Photography by Ken Goodman adds to the books overall appeal. This is high on my list of recommended reading for 2012. Get it.



Not quite sure where to begin and where to end this post. Good Gracious what a ride though.

Friday was a busy prep day on site. We all worked on our entries for the categories of Dessert, Taste of the Homeland and the 4 main categories, Chicken Ribs Pork and Brisket. I got a bit behind as I was prepping my pork and we missed the parade for the teams.  No worries though as we walked with the uber talented ISS (I Smell Smoke!) up to the distillery.  The bus ride up to the Dinner on the Hill was uneventful but completely packed with people.  Got to see some friends, have some fried chicken and come right back down.  I wasn’t interested in having any cocktails on the hill.

Friday night at the Jack I was as focused as I could have been, however, I still got to see some really great friends as they popped by for some “pops” and a chat or two :

Our friends Bill Gillespie, Shaune Connolly and Alan Burke from Smokin’ Hoggz came by and we had a blast with them. The night previous we had been having a lot of fun at the hotel. There may have been some cocktails involved. Then some other folks showed up from Michigan (Steve Coddrington) and NY folks Moffats and  our great friends from England !! Miss Piggy BBQ !!! Got to see our beloved friends Smoke on Wheels and their entire gang as well. Got to see my sisters in Smoke  – Angie Quaale and Jenny Lawler Windsor and their boyz David and Jack ! (Didn’ spend nearly enough time with them!)

Everywhere I turned there were folks I wanted to spend some time with ! Big Wayne and Jay Prince, Joshua all made a stop in and it was great to see these guys!  From out neighbors next door – Big Bob Gibson to every other corner. Quau right across from us, Tommy Kelly Mike and the list goes on and on. Then the International teams !! Belgium, the UK, Grill Ueli and more!! Nancy & her daughter from Team Top Chick and just getting a hug from her is special. There just isn’t enough time to see all those amazing people. Missed spending time with my Sister in Smoke Angie and David Gassaway

We did however receive many very kind gifts throughout the weekend from some very generous people- Gorgeous shirts from Miss Piggy’s BBQ, Lots and lots of Apple Pie from (Thanks so very much!!) from quite a few teams and friends, wines, coffee and cheese from Buzz, cookies, candies and cakes. An uber cool Diva shot glass from Momma Prairie Smoke & Spice! The list could go on and on. Good gracious I know I am forgetting a whole lotta folks! I am so lucky to have so many great friends.

Jessie and I with help from Jamie worked right up until 3am on the dessert then I crashed out for a couple of hours. We had a Mack Daddy site! Greg and Debbie Talley from Sam Dog BBQ  brought their 5th wheel out for us to use. It just goes to figure that the one time I have every luxury in the world I get the least amount of sleep. LOL    The boys kept watch until 5 am in between power naps – they rocked!! It was cold as heck out and they kept the fire burning all night!

Dawn came and I took a walkabout with my teammate Patrick – got to see some folks power cookers lighting their pits and getting ready for their day. It was a beautiful start to the day !!

Then we were off to the races as they say. Sauce went in and it was yummy. Cooking from the homeland dish went in and it was delicious then came the meats!! Chicken went in without a hitch its looked amazing and there was loads of flavor throughout. Ribs went in. They looked fantastic but were average. Nothing spectacular.  Pork went in and it rocked on flavor however presentation could have improved. Brisket went in and it was the bomb -awesome flavor in every bite! If you had asked me then I would have had high hopes for our brisket, then pork then chicken. Not so much for ribs.

Dessert went in and it was a 100% team effort. We all helped with the plating the carrying and the blocking to the turn in table. Its always a worry that someone will jostle the tray from your site to the turn ins at the Jack. Over 25,000 people are walking about !!

We got cleaned up as best we could had a whole lotta apple pie and cocktails and loaded up on bevvies for the awards ceremony.  Took some pictures at the staging area:

My husband and I finally have a picture of us at the Jack.


My sister in Smoke Jenny & I

We had a blast at the awards ceremony so cool to see so many of our friends!! Then we got our first call !! Happiest Home in the Hollow!! We need to thank our friends at Brown Forman Canada for helping us with some incredible Jack merchandise to show our love for their brand!! This is the second time we have won this award!!

We watched with great pride other teams from Canada get their names called !! Well Seasoned & the Black Pig BBQ for their taste of the Homeland Dishes!!! Awesome to see.

Then our beloved friends from Kansas Smoke on Wheels won Cooks Choice!!!!!!  Uber awesomeness!!

Everything passes by so fast at the Jack that its hard to keep up

We didn’t receive a call in Chicken or ribs but we got to see so many terrific people take walks. My phone was completely dead and I was sad not to be able to update peeps with Jack results and take pictures.

Then pork came and we cheered on Prairie Smoke and Spice for their 2nd place win!! Everything after that is pretty much a blur. We got called for 1st place PORK! At the Jack. Oh my flip I thought I was going to have a heart attack. They almost had to call a medic cause this Canadian chick lost her mind.

Head to 1:25 and you will get a better idea of what I am talking about.

The rest of the time and the night were a dream. We had quite the party after the awards!! Seeing our friends from big Bob Gibson get the RGC and then Smokin’ Hoggz win the GC was incroyable!!!

I left my team to party and I went and crashed for a few hours. I was done in. I had come with some goals and had achieved them. Wired BBQ at the beginning of the Jack gave me an interview asking what I wanted to come out of the Jack with. I told them a 1st in Dessert a 1st in Happiest Home in the Hollow and a 1st in pork. Other than dessert I achieved my goals!! The big one for sure!

World Champion for pork. That’s freaking amazing. We could not have done it without our friends and sponsors:

Traeger Canada
Basques Charcoal
BBQ Guru
Ontario Gas BBQ
Smoky Mountain Smokers
Butcher BBQ
Sam Dog BBQ
Brown Forman Canada


City of Barrie Ontario

Patrick Brown Office

Big Bone BBQ Barrie


Jamie Parisi

Jessie Sweeney

Patrick Weir

Mike Miller

Vlado Dimovski

Jason Rees

Thank you to everyone who supported us. You are all awesome.