Magazine article Sunset

"Battle of the Barbecues"; It's an Annual Day of Serious Cooking and Lighthearted Competition

Magazine article Sunset

"Battle of the Barbecues"; It's an Annual Day of Serious Cooking and Lighthearted Competition

Article excerpt

You may not be the type for team sports, but you still might like to fire up some competitive spirit in your own back yard--as Lyndi Brown and Tom McGinley of Sebastopol, California, do every summer. They bring together a picnic table's worth of fellow contenders in an event that they call the Battle of the Barbecues.

Eight or ten visiting teams are asked to compete. Invitations come with an official schedule. Kick-off is at 2, when arriving barbecues jockey for patio placement ("Sorry, no overnight camping"). At 3, all those assembled on the patio fill out ballots for Best-Dressed Barbecue (each preferably decorated in a theme related to the entree it will turn out). Then the serious cooking begins.

Around 4, hot dogs are ready for any kids who've come along to coach the grown-ups. Barbecue entries in the fish category are served at 5, fowl moves in at 5:30, and the inevitable "other" gets tasted and reviewed around 6.

At one side of the patio, out of the fray of battle, a big table is set up with disposable plates and cutlery. The host couple also provides help-yourself platters of cheeses, breads, raw or marinated vegetables, pasta salads, and fresh fruit. …

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