Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

For Many Teams, the Secret Is in Their Sauces

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

For Many Teams, the Secret Is in Their Sauces

Article excerpt

It all began with a walk on a beach in Hawaii and a chance

meeting with a man and his hibachi grill.

"I had never smelled anything so good and I just had to taste

it," said Bill Rigg, a member of the winning cook team that took

the grand championship title at the 1995 First Coast Ham Jam.

"When I asked the man about how I might get the receipt he said

he sold straw hats and we made a deal."

Rigg brought four straw hats to get his receipt and once he got

back to the States began barbecue competitions. Along the way he

met four men who would eventually become part of his team and in

1991 they entered their first competition as the South Seas

Shish Kabobs.

Since that time, the team has placed in the top ten in various

categories, including poultry, ribs, shoulder, whole hog, and

sauce, all around Florida and at the Memphis in May Festival in

Tennessee. In March the team took first place in whole hog at

the Ocala Pork-A-Roma.

This year Rigg says the team is fired up and ready for another

Ham Jam victory.

"We don't win all of the time, but we are coming back to defend

our title the best way we know how," said Rigg, an engineering

draftsman who lives in Melbourne. "The competition is a lot of

work, but we look forward to coming to the Ham Jam every year

and getting together with old friends."

This year nearly 40 teams from all over the Southeast will be

taking part in the competition that is recognized as Florida's

official barbecue contest. Rigg said that while his team loves

to compete, it is the people they have met on this circuit that

keep coming back.

"We all love the competition, but it is the atmosphere and the

comradery that make it so enjoyable," said Rigg. "We have met a

lot of good people and we all have a lot in common. Coming to

the Ham Jam is like going to a family reunion."

Traveling to the Ham Jam is even a reunion of sorts for the

five-member team, who all hold down full-time jobs.

Teamsters Terry Madden and Charlie Johnson, who owns Charlie

and Jake's Barbecue and Brewery, also live in Melbourne, but

members Bob Brown, a communications technician, lives in Orlando

and Jess Futch, a master carpenter, hails from Cocoa. …

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