LA Barbecue Festival 2009 Meat Lovers Delight

By: Mel Joelle

BBQ, Bar-B-Q, Bar-B-Que, Barbecue. And if in Australia, Barbi Mates. Now matter how you slice it, the smell of burning wood, sauces, heat, fire, spicy rubs, the outdoors, marinades and slow-cooking meat is a sensational delight beyond measure. Well, maybe not to Vegetarians, but for us meat-lovers, the tradition of barbeque is close to our hearts particularly if you hail from Texas or South Carolina. Barbecue is more than a meal. It is an event. In the South, the tradition involves people gathering for good barbecue, whether they invited or not. Barbecue is an event, sometimes an all day event, that gathers people around a fire to talk, watch, smell and eat like gods. Like the firey gatherings of our ancestors this is the place to eat, drink, be merry and tell stories.

This fabulous tradition of barbecue has shifted West and landed in a big way in Los Angeles at the Santa Monica Pier. Every year, the Los Angeles Barbecue Festival carouses meat-lovers, socialites, barbecue afficianados, cooks, local residents, musicians, sauciers, vendors, pitmasters, Southern transplants and an assortment of other characters to the seaside to enjoy this collosal annual event. Every year Drink:Eat:Play hosts the 2-inaugural day weekend festival to the delight of food-lovers and local residents thut run the gamut, re-creating the sights, sounds, smells and delicious flavors of LA’s favorite food event without having to hop on a plane to Houston, Texas. This finger-licking festival seems to draw larger and larger crowds every year and with that draws more and more pitmasters from all corners of the nation offering a wider selection of traditional BBQ favorites. The favorites of all things things meaty, slathered, spiced and grilled will most certainly have you reaching for your pocket Wet Wipes. Pit masters from all corners of the States will gather, not hunt, to whip up massive servings from every thing to Memphis ribs to the classic, Texas beef brisket. This year’s BABBP will host 10 of the nation’s top pitmasters, and more pitmasters means more food! New additions to this year’s festival will hail from Texas, Chicago and New Jersey. New Jersey? This we have to see.

The 2009 lineup will surely wow the crowd with their unique, award-winning regional barbecue styles and techniques. This year’s participating pitmasters and their featured menu items include: Bryan Bracewell, Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, TX (Beef Brisket & Sausage & Pickles & Onions); Danny Fisher, Baby Blues BBQ, Venice, CA (Memphis Ribs and Mac N’ Cheese); Butch Lupinetti, Smack Your Lips BBQ, NJ (Pulled Pork & Smoked Beans); Joey Sutphen, Texas Thunder BBQ, TX (Beef Brisket & Coleslaw); Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill, Murphysboro, IL & Memphis Championship Barbecue, Las Vegas, NV (Baby Back Ribs & Beans); Jonathan Burrows, Mr. Cecil’s BBQ, Los Angeles, CA (Beef Ribs & Cucumber/Tomato Salad); LC Richardson, LC’s, Kansas City, MO (Kansas City Spare Ribs & Baked Beans); and Melinda Race, Bristol Farms, Los Angeles, CA (Chicken and Veggie Skewers)

Hold on though, live entertainment will also be provided with bands covering Johnny Cash and the Beatles. Bands peforming include Country Gone Awry, Petty Cash, Dazed and Confused, The Palominos, Cash’d Out and White Trash A Go Go. Check back as the schedule is subject to change.

And if you are looking to wash down your cue with some cold tasty suds, look no further than the raucous beer garden to party on through and exchange your BBQ stories. A variety of other beverages will also be on offer including including, sodas, waters and juices. And it doesn’t stop there. If you are still hankering for more and need a cure for that sweet tooth, round out your BBQ with a side of award-winning cupcakes, pies, root beer floats or other desserts. Each plate of BBQ will be $10. Typically, each $10 plate of food includes 1/3 to 1/2 pound of meat and a side item. Sides and desserts are separate and cost $4 each and drinks are $2 and up. There is an admission charge but not to worry, has half-price tickets on offer to allow for that those spare ribs you wanted to try but you have to have that beef brisket first. The event starts at 12:00PM and goes to 6:00PM. The event is located at Santa Monica Pier North Parking Lot, 1550 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90401. So mark your calanders for May 9th and 10th and bring your big game hunger to the beach!

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