Now in its second year, the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown invitational BBQ event is shaping up to be even a bigger success in 2017.
In this session of the BBQ Beat Podcast, I speak with Barbara Latimer and Montana Smith, co-organizers of the invitational. If you’re an event organizer or better yet, if you’re planning to attend the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown on January 14, 2017, this is the podcast session for you.
Be sure to check out the time stamped show notes below for direct access to specific segments of this podcast session.
Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational Overview
Last year, the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational hosted 47 teams from all over the country. Sanctioned by the FBA (Florida BBQ Association) the event offers a massive $68,000 total payout — paying homage to the year 1968, when Sonny Tillman opened his first Sonny’s BBQ in Gainesville, FL.
Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ, headed by pitmaster Darren Warth, took Grand Championship honors last year, with Killer V Cooking Team earning Reserve Grand. You can see they each had a pretty nice paycheck at the end of this one!
Feedback from Teams Who Cooked Last Year’s Event
I reached out to a couple of teams who cooked last year’s Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown event to see what they had to say about the organization and overall production. As you know, there are some areas where competition BBQ events can really fall apart. You’ll see from these comments that the folks at Sonny’s know how to do it up right.
Great event, even when Mother Nature threw them a curve ball with torrential downpours the day before load in, they made the best of it. We’ll definitely be back. Sonny’s truly puts on a World Class BBQ contest. — Darren Warth, Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ
It was one of the best run BBQ events I’ve ever been to! From the time I pulled in the gate and asked where my spot was to leaving after awards! I’ll definitely go back!! — Heath Riles, Victory Lane BBQ
Prize Money Breakdown for 2017
This year, the Sonny’s Invitational pays to 15 places. Here’s a partial list of prize payouts. You can find the full list here.
- Grand Champion: $20,000
- Reserve Grand Champion: $6,000
- 3rd Place: $4,000
- 4th Place: $3,000
- 5th Place: $2,000
- 6th Place: $1,000
Prizes drop $100 per place down to 15 from here.
- 1st: $1,500
- 2nd: $900
- 3rd: $800
- 4th: $600
- 5th: $400
Prizes drop $50 per place to 15 from here.
Featured Charity: Operation BBQ Relief
The Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown proceeds go to support the good folks at Operation BBQ Relief (OBR). You can find a post detailing their amazing efforts here.
OBR was founded in May, 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri, a community of about 50,000 residents. Volunteers of competition BBQ teams from eight states answered the need to help feed displaced families, Police, Fire, National Guard and emergency personnel.
Since May of 2011, Operation BBQ Relief has served over 1 Million meals served in 19 states. Their funding comes from fundraisers, online merchandise sales and donations.
The 2017 Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown is sure to be one of the biggest competition BBQ events of the new year. As you can tell from this interview, a lot of hard work and planning is going into making sure that cook teams, judges, and attendees have an experience to remember.
Be Sure to Listen to More Episodes!
If you enjoyed this episode of the BBQ Beat Podcast, you can see the full podcast archive here. Or, simply catch up on some of the other most popular BBQ podcast conversations listed below.
- Razorracks BBQ on Winning Big with a Small FootprintTalking with Drew Davis of Razorracks BBQ about how teams without big rigs, toy haulers, or trailers can still win big on the competition BBQ trail! Topics discussed include the importance of having the right mindset, tips for making the most out of your team’s competition dollars, and much more. Keep Reading »
- Duce Raymond of Sweet Baby Ray’sIn this episode, I talk with Duce Raymond of Sweet Baby Ray’s about the origins of the world’s most popular barbecue sauce. But we go way deeper than that. Duce shares the origins of the iconic Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, but he also details how one very important lesson from his uncle continues to drive the family’s successful restaurants and catering business forward. Keep Reading »
- Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of BarbecueIt was my great pleasure to sit down for a chat with James Beard Book Award Author Adrian Miller to discuss his latest book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue. A true scholar, historian, and lover of smoked meats, Adrian and I talk about the contents of this text, along with the reasons he felt it needed to be written. Keep Reading »
- Ted Reader on Making it Tasty with Live FireNo one embodies the spirit of crafting amazing food with live fire better than Canada’s Chef Ted Reader. I can’t thank Teddy enough for sitting down and allowing me to record this EPIC chat! Keep Reading »
- Chris Becker of CookinPellets.comChris Becker founded CookinPellets to make the best premium BBQ pellets available. Join me for an in-depth look at how and why he did it. Keep Reading »
- Amy Mills – BBQ Business and the Legacy of Mr. MikeAmy Mills of 17th Street BBQ shares loving memories of her Dad, Mr. Mike Mills, the impact COVID has had on their business, and more. Keep Reading »
- 2021 Hog Drop Champion John LindseyIn this episode, I talk with John Lindsey of All Q’ued Up BBQ about his recent Grand Champion win at the 2021 Hog Drop held at the Jack’s Old South compound in Unadilla, GA. Keep Reading »
- Rusty and Anthony of the Pitmasters PodcastRusty Monson and Anthony Lujan host the Pitmasters Podcast… and they are on a mission to ignite the passion of cooks everywhere-from amateur to pro-to continue to exceed their own expectations on their journey to Master the Pit! Anyone who loves cooking with live fire and the fun and fellowship of BBQ should make the […]
- Montana Max on Food Sport and His BBQ Champs Academy SeriesGreat chat with food sport professional Montana Max about his new ancillary classes offered up on BBQ Champs Academy! Keep Reading »
- Protecting Knives in Style – Talking with Mick Kerkham of Maka Leathergoodswith “Maka” Kerkham from Maka Leathergoods in Tasmania. His leather knife rolls are sought after by top chefs and BBQ pitmasters worldwide. Keep Reading »