An upcoming class will show backyard barbecue cookers how to adapt to competition cooking.
A class named “Let’s Talk Q” will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, at Tubozzz, which is located at 200 S. Gadberry St. The class will be taught by restaurant owner and roasted pork specialist David “Tubo” Owens.
Owens is a member of the UniQuely Union Barbeque Festival committee, and he said committee members want to be sure that local cookers are not scared to jump into the festival environment.
The class will teach the basics of cooking for a barbecue competition.
“It should be a great help to competition first-timers,” Owens said.
During the UniQuely Union Barbeque Festival — to be held Sept. 8-9 — each team will be given turn-in boxes. During Monday evening’s class, Owens will go over preparation of the boxes such as how to line up the chicken and pork. Owens said he will answer any questions the barbecue enthusiasts may have.
Owens said the committee is re-vamping the competition for this year’s festival.
“We are headed forward with the competition,” Owens said, mentioning that the goal is to have at least 30 teams competing.
“Right now, 17 are committed.”
Owens said four teams from Union that have never competed before have committed to cook in this year’s competition. There are also teams traveling from around the state, and two teams are coming from Georgia.
“The name of the festival is UniQuely Union,” Owens said. “This might be biased, but I’d like to see someone from Union win it.”
Owens said he would also like to see more church teams participate as well as more all-female teams.
“Years ago, we had one all-female team, and they did really well in the competition,” he said.
Although Owens will not compete in the competition at UniQuely Union, he is no stranger to competitive barbecuing. In addition to owning and operating Tubozzz — which features Big Daddy’s BBQ on the menu — Owens also leads a cooking team called “Big Daddy’s BBQ.”
“My daddy cooked at Fred Stewart’s hash house,” Owens said. “I started out as an onion peeler.”
Later, while Owens was employed with the City of Union, he started a competition cooking team.
“I started a team with the fire house and never looked back,” he said.
Owens said competitive cooking has now become a lifestyle, as he is at competitions and festivals nearly every weekend. When he’s not competing, Owens also provides the prize-winning barbecue for local events. In July, Big Daddy’s won overall grand champion — as well as first place in both chicken and pork categories — at the 2012 South Carolina Festival of Discovery barbecue competition in Greenwood.