Our Black Forest II

Report of the Competition in Bad Bellingen

This year’s Black Forest was particularly awaited. The competition has grown considerably, reaching nearly 50 teams at the stage of subscriptions, the money prize has been considerably enriched but above all the location has been moved from the venue of a wine house to the enchanting spa district of Bad Bellingen. The wait was not disappointed: the Black Forest II was a splendid, well-organized event that has attracted a considerable audience.

From the sportive point of view it was a very hard and very balanced competition with 18 Grand Champions among the participants, all 4 European teams belonging to the club 700+ and almost all those belonging to the KCBS club 180. Three of the best Italian teams of the year made us company to enrich the picture. The Grand Champion goes to the Austrian Schluchtengriller and Reserve to our friends Miss Piggy’s UK who after some months of absence got back with two second places in few weeks. Our compliments goes to hem both and to the friends Sticky Fingers e Smoke’n Fire, very good in taking a call overall in a really very hard competition. Unfortunately, it was for us the classic “no day”, where almost nothing seems to have gone in the right direction and we only take home a walk on the usual Pork (6th). We still have the fun of a really intense weekend spent together with all the friends of the barbecue family, in an event with an excellent organizational level, which absolutely deserves to be seen.

So close with the usual ranking of the five things we bring home from Bad Bellingen:

  1. When we told about our experiences at Meat, Smoke and Beer Festival and BBQ Bulls Championship in Austria, we already mentioned this concept and the Black Forest II is a further demonstration. In Austria and Germany, there is a very precise concept regarding the setting of these kinds of events: the competition is only a part of the event and the focus is the public. The Black Forest from this point of view was perfect: in a very nice park and with plenty of space, a pedestrian walkway dedicated to exhibitors divided two squares, one dedicated to the teams, anyway with a stand in the middle for sale to the public of the excellent local wine to the glass and the other one dedicated to the feeding with all kinds of street food spots and a stand for beer in the center. As planned, there were a lot of people, despite the uncertain climate and at the end of the event some sold out was also seen. I am increasingly convinced that this is the right approach and we should replicate it in Italy.
  2. I loved Black Forest I. A competition inside a winery was definitely an interesting experience but the idea of moving the event to a spa was really brilliant. The impeccable organization of Michael Koepf of the Dragon BBQ has made it possible for all participants to have a free access to the beautiful thermal structure of Bad Bellingen, equipped with different temperature tanks, whirlpool and lazy river. The feeling of getting thrown into the hot water, tired before the awards ceremony and after the usual heavy overnight, the freaky turn-in time and cleaning and dismantling the stuff, is a priceless feeling I will remember for a long time.
  3. On Saturdays at noon, we decided to improvise a Wurstel theme lunch with various types and sizes of sausage, taking on the beautiful tradition we began last year at Black Forest I. At the supermarket there was everything and more and we got carried away: we was back with the most absurd things, including unicorn würstel from the unlikely purple color (in truth würstel with speck and beetroot, with apple pieces in the dough, an inenarrabile gross) and asian green (with wasabi and curry). There came out an rainbow sausage party where we have more laugh than ate but these are in the end that kind of crap that over time you will remind about a competition. There is the supermarket cashier who is probably still laughing ….
  4. Pedagogical corner. The Black Forest II was the third competition in which I took my older daughter, Arianna, 9 years old, after the Brixia last year and the Prime Uve this year. No concessions: he arrived with us in Germany late in the evening, dined with a awful pizza in the only local open at 22.30, helped us to mount our stuff at the competition field on Saturday morning, he was with us all the time and in the evening she slept in the car, exactly as we did. Given the initial fears (more by his mother), every time I am more convinced that it is a great thing. Every contest is structured more or less in the same way: the interpreters are always quite the same, maybe people you know for years, the context is open but in reality very defined and circumscribed. From time to time Arianna acquires more and more security, goes and comes by herself, knows almost everyone and goes to them about giving hugs as though they were a sort of relatives, she meets and plays with the children of other teams members. In short, he is comfortable, feels safe, has fun like a crazy and for her is like being in a giant camping with so many “daddy’s friends”, a circus that moves from time to time into a different city but that It always remains the same. My personal advice is: if you have the opportunity, make the barbecue family become the family of your children, you will be surprised how happy they will be.
  5. I want to win, as everyone do and when I go home empty-handed I get my hackles up. It is normal, if there was no agonism, it would not be a competition. But if it should not happen to us, I’m glad the winners were the Schluchtengriller. They are guys with whom we have already shared the competition field on a couple of occasions and of which great kindness and availability I was always amazed. In this competition our spot was right in front of them. During the overnight, when everyone was asleep, James, who had my own same night shift, kept me company while doing boxing garnishes and injections on the chicken. At a point I can not find where the foil pans were be stored. I had not time to say “where did they get them” I see him in front of him with his two pans ready for me. I did not even have time to tell him what I needed …

For this summer, our commitments to the competitive circuit are over. The next appointment is in September in Slovenia for the Slovenian BBQ Open.

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