2019 3rd Annual Pitmaster Competition: “Meat on a Stick”

For more updates and pics, follow us on instagram: @halalbbqpitmasters.

This year, teams had to cook skewered meat – hence the “meat on a stick” theme – live on-site. To help expand our efforts, we partnered with the Islamic Center of Frisco, TX, who had an excellent team to help pull this off.

The event was a great success. We had 9 teams. Each team made 200 samples for guests to try. An estimated 1000 guests attended (last year we had 200 guests). Perhaps the best sign of success: guests who arrived late were upset samples were running out (unfortunately some expressed their disappointment in unhealthy ways). Those (smarter) guests who came on-time were treated to some incredibly flavorful dishes: piri piri chicken (with an imported rub), bihari kebabs, Brazilian-style picana, multiple styles of beef kebabs, and Southern-style smoked chicken. The quality of these dishes exceeds anything I’ve every tried at a restaurant. Can you believe we sold samples for only $1/each?…some of them were full sized pita sandwiches!!!

Two food vendors also added to the mix: Halal Mother Truckers and Smokey D’s (BBQ catering). Halal Mother Truckers’ tikka dishes (tikka bowl, tikka taco, tikka quesadilla etc) and Smokey D’s texas-style brisket were quite popular among the guests.

Judges

This year, we had 5 judges who went around each team’s table and sampled dishes. Judges included the owner of Express Kabob (my personal favorite Afgani restaurant in the Dallas area), a member of the interfaith community, a Jewish rabbi, and a member of the Frisco, TX, Muslim community (who had 35 years of experience in the hotel restaurant industry).

Winners

In addition to 1st-3rd place, we included – for the first time – a “peoples’ choice” award, voted on by guests. Team “Green Eggs and Beef” blew away the competition as the peoples’ choice. They created “kababombs,” which really was like having a bomb of flavor explode in your mouth.

For third place, we had a tie. Teams Kebab Slayers and Smokey D’s both got an equal number of points by the judges. Kebab Slayers made garlic-habenero kebabs and Smokey D’s made piri piri chicken.

Second place went to team “High Steaks” for their bihari kebabs. I’m told it’s a secret family recipe. If I could make bihari kebabs like that, I wouldn’t share my recipe either :).

The first place winner was team “Churrasc-Agha” who made picana with green rice. Their rotisserie method really cooked the beef perfectly, and their plating stood out.

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