Sorry about my lack of posts over the weekend. I thought I had enough prepared for my trip to Memphis.  Unfortunately, I fell short.  However, I have great news about my first trip to Memphis.  I traveled to Memphis with the guys for Pork Barrel BBQ to compete in the annual Memphis in May Contest.  For the Pork Barrel Team it was our second BBQ contest for the year.  We did awesome this past weekend.  The Pork Barrel Team took fourth place in the Beef contest with an awesome Brisket, 7th in Mustard Sauce, 12th in exotic with an Iberico fat wrapped venison loin and 14th in the Seafood with a grill gumbo.

The Pork Barrel BBQ Team

It was a muddy weekend but we put together a nice camp site to wow the judges.

The Pork Barrel BBQ Site

We drew an amazing spot for our site.  To our left was Pat from Tower Rock BBQ.  Pat is a three time world champion and the greatest neighbor a first time team could have.  He was very helpful and taught me a lot.  I want to thank Pat for all of the help and insights into the contest. Without him I could not have trimmed the pork shoulders correctly.

Me and Pat Burke

Here is a group shot of the Tower Rock Team minus Tom.  Tom hates being photographed.  I tried many times throughout the weekend to take a picture, but it did not happen.  Hopefully Tom gets to read this as I hung out with him the most throughout the weekend.  I’ll get you next time Tom.  Haha.

Pork Barrel and Tower Rock

Across the way we had Wayne from Red Hot Smokers and kitty corner we had Myron from Jack’s Old South.  Basically we were surrounded by World Champions.  It was amazing!  An added benefit to having a 3 time world champion around us, was that everyone stopped by to see Pat.   So we got to hang with some of the best barbecuers in the world.

Here I am with Mike Mills.  He competed with Pat for many years.  Both are living legends.

Me and Mike Mills

Here I am with Tuffy Stone – He won 1st place in Pork Shoulder.  Tuffy is a great guy and one heck of a competitor.  You can check out his website at   You might also know him from his appearances on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters.

Me and Tuffy

Along with the awesome people that we ran into we also got to check out Beale Street.

Beale Street
Beale Street
PIG Pork with Attitude
I saw this sign and had to take a photo.
BB King's
Can't go to Beale Street without visiting BB King's

We even stopped by the famous Rendezvous for some Memphis Dry Ribs.  They were tasty, but not my style.  I like a little sauce on my ribs.

The Rendezvous

Overall it was an amazing experience.  The team did great for our first World Championship.  We met an amazing group of people, saw the sights and even got to taste some amazing barbecue.  In the end we waited at the stage for the awards.  While we did not place in the top ten, we were there with Tuffy Stone and the guys from Cool Smoke.

At the awards Ceremony
At the Awards Ceremony: (from back left to front right) Brett Thompson, Pork Barrel BBQ; Mike Richter, Chix, Swine & Bovine; Jamie Geer, owner of Jambo Pits; Pat Burke, Tower Rock BBQ; Tuffy Stone, Cool Smoke; Rex Holmes, Pork Barrel BBQ; Heath Hall, Pork Barrel BBQ

They called Cool Smoke for the 1st place in pork shoulder.  It was one heck of a celebration.

It was a once in a lifetime event that was amazing.   I can’t wait to go back next year.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. Rex you were hanging out with BBQ royalty there, dude. I am envious of your experience.

    I’m taking a class from Chris Lilly this weekend, he’s always fun and has a ton of info to share.

    • Nick, I was too busy cooking to take photos of the food. The only time that I could bring out my camera was during the down time. I will try to get pics next time.

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