Gwen Fowler



All Smoked Up wins Conway barbecue contest

Posted 11/24/2013 11:41:00 PM

Jimmy Bristow and Gary Taylor were hoping for a win for their All Smoked Up competition team at the St. Nicholas BBQFest in Conway Saturday, Nov. 16.

The event was the last of the season to determine the winner for the year for the South Carolina State Championship, and All Smoked Up of Lexington was in second place going into the Conway competition.

All Smoked Up got the win, with Up in Smoke of Rock Hill in second and Smokin’ Stacks of Aiken in third place. Monkey Bottom Barbecue of Timmonsville won the People’s Choice vote.

The barbecue festival is in its ninth year, although its name was Winterfest in past years. This year, 19 teams from the Carolinas competed outside the Peanut Warehouse on the Waccamaw River.

Don and Marcia Adkins of Seneca were among about 30 certified judges with the S.C. Barbeque Association who helped select the winners, which wasn’t easy, they agreed. He is a master judge and she is a senior judge.

The festivities started Thursday night with Taste of Conway, with about 20 local restaurants participating. The weekend event raises money for charities of St. Paul’s Church of Conway.

On Saturday afternoon, part of the crowd wandered down to one end of the cooking area, where a TV pilot, Holy Smokers, was being shot. The Rev. Tripp Jeffords was participating in filming an intro for the event, and he said the show would focus on faith, food and barbecue. The show will highlight church barbecue cook-offs, and a barbecue team from St. Paul’s was cooking. Also competing especially for the pilot were a team from Alabama and a biker’s Christian ministry from North Carolina.

“Our church was selected and the St. Nicholas Festival to be their first venue,” Jeffords said.

The barbecue teams began cooking Friday afternoon, and each team cooked at least eight butts. Samples were available to the public beginning at 11 a.m., and a hungry crowd finished the barbecue off in a hurry. By the time I arrived at 2 p.m., unfortunately the barbecue was gone.

You would think Bristow and Taylor could have saved me a bite or two. Meeting them there was quite a surprise because the three of us graduated from Airport High School in West Columbia together some years back.