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June 16, 2013

Pitmasters face off at smokin’ showdown



“While other kids play baseball and basketball ... he likes to cook,” Scott Smith said. 

Christopher said he attended the Young Chef’s Academy for three years and is now competing and winning at the junior level in barbecue competitions. 

Scott and Christopher both agreed that their favorite pork treat to make is brisket. When asked what their secret ingredient is, Scott answered with a smile, “The smoker, of course.”

The overall grand champion winner and barbecue bragging rights for the backyard amateur division was awarded to the “Alpha Smoke” team. Other awards were given in the dessert and anything-but categories, with the Guinness cake topped with Bailey’s Irish Crème icing winning first place in the dessert category, and the “Top-Shelf Cooker” team winning first place for lamb ribs in the anything-but category. 

The people’s choice award was given to “RIP” (Rest in Pork — Meat to Die For) team winning the tasting tent vote for the rib challenge. The five-friend team from Huntingburg, Ind., near Jasper, has been competing as a hobby for about four years. John Patton, one of the RIP teammates, said he had had no intention of entering into the people’s choice award contest. 

“I kept saying, ‘I’m in no way doing the people’s choice,’” Patton said. 

However, Patton said his teammates persuaded him to enter once they arrived, even though they were lacking water and electric at the time. 

The tasting tent in Clucker’s parking lot offered tastings of the barbecue team’s ribs, as well as local brew tastings. Many Smokin’ attendees were from Louisville, like friends Tracey Saelen and Angela Trumbaturi, who also work in downtown Louisville. 

“The ribs are so good, they just fall off the bone,” Saelen said. The two said this was their first time attending the event and the only complaint was that they wished the Jeffersonville side of the pedestrian bridge was complete so they could have walked there. 

Blues music on the RiverStage and in the tasting tent, as well as a Little Pig Play area for children accompanied the two-day Smokin’ on the River festival.

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