Chad, Christine Hayden
have hot hands at the grill
(September 2013) – Finding the right combination of cooking time, seasoning and presentation for a variety of meats creates the challenge for teams entered in the Madison Ribberfest’s Kansas City Barbeque Society pro cooking contest. The team,
From left, KCBS chairman
Ken Schneider presents the
Grand Champion award to
Christine and Chad Hayden.
Also pictured are John Kakimoto,
Executive Vice President of Arvin
Sango Inc., event sponsor, and
Drew Garrett of the KCBS committee.
Moonswiners, from Taylorsville, Ky., has found that combination time and time again. Chad and Christine Hayden, which form Moonswiners, were named Grand Champions of the 2013 Ribberfest KCBS professional barbecue competition for the third time in 10 years.
8-to-11 years olds:
(* = Third consecutive win)
1. Jaylin Lee, Madison, Ind.
2. Brett Counsel, Indianapolis
12-to-15 years olds:
1. Riley Porter, Madison, Ind.*
2. Damian Gibson from Madison
The team got their start like most others. “I would barbecue in the backyard for friends. They kept telling me I should compete. So I gave it a shot,” says Chad.
The team began competing in 2004. They scored their first Grand Championship in Madison in 2007 and won again in 2010 and again this year.
“Madison has been good to us,” says Chad. “We’ve scored in the top 10, eight of the 10 years we’ve competed. Every year I think I’m not going to return. But if we keep winning, I guess we’ll keep coming.”
(61 teams entered)
(* Also won in 2007 and 2010)
Top 10 Overall Teams
1. Moonswiners, Chad and Christine Hayden, Taylorsville, Ky.*
2. Warren Co. Pork Choppers, Donny Bray, Bowling Green, Ky.
3. Pappy Q, Tom Hillman, Fisherville, Ky.
4. Yellow River BBQ, Jeff Sharp, Plymouth, Ind.
5. Blue Chip BBQ, Charlie Jackey, Louisville, Ky.
6. Velvet Smoke BBQ, Matt Schneider, Cincinnati
7. Berkee Rae’s BBQ, Aaron Stump, Kokomo, Ind.
8. Thunder Hog BBQ, Ron Foster, Bloomington, Ind.
9. Shigs In Pit, Todd Grantham, Fort Wayne, Ind.
10. Smokin’ T’s, Troy Heitmeyer, Mt. Vernon, Ill.
Moonswiners’ winning streak extends to other competitions. “We compete about four times a year,” says Hayden. The team just won the local round of the Sam’s Club Barbecue Tour, also a KCBS-sponsored contest. They head to Hendersonville, Tenn., to compete in the regionals in a couple of weeks in hopes of qualifying for the nationals. Moonswiners will also compete in Lynchburg, Tenn., in October at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational.
“As a result of winning Ribberfest in 2007, we qualified to go to Jack Daniels, where we won Grand Champion,” Chad said. “This is the 25th anniversary of that competition, so they are bringing all the champions back for the competition. That’s a pretty big deal. I’m looking forward to that.”
Another benefit of winning Ribberfest is qualifying to compete at the American Royal competition in Kansas City. But Moonswiners, though qualifying several years, has chosen to compete elsewhere.
Chad, who works as a plumbing designer for engineering firm, CMTA, in Louisville, Ky., said he looks forward to every competition. When asked what he most enjoys, he first says jokingly, “Winning!”
BBQ Blast Winners
1. Big Sam’s Pig Paint
2. Monster Rack BBQ
3. Double J BBQ
1. Beer Butts & BBQ (tie)
1. Stoner’s Rubbin’ It Right (tie)
2. Hog Rock BBQ
3. Check Your Shorts BBQ
1. Lock, Stock & Barrel BBQ
2. Lazy E BBQ
1. Beach Dogs 502 BBQ
2. Nettie Que
3. Lazy E BBQ
1. Rooster’s Smokin’ Butts
2. Monster Rack BBQ
3. Lil’ Sis BBQ
1. United Pork Smokers
2. Rub: Check Your Shorts BBQ
3. Contraption: Seeing Double
“When Pigs Fly”
“Sam I Am
Then, turning a bit more serious, he says, “Actually, it’s the people. We’ve made some great friends participating in these contests. I would say 90 percent of my closest friends are my competitors. After that, continually finding ways to get better and win – that comes in second.”
The KCBS has maxed out at 61 teams and the amateur cooking contest, the Madison Courier Backyard BBQ Blast, this year boasted nearly 50 teams. Pigmania, the concrete pig contest held among local businesses, had 58 pigs.
When asked his specialty, Chad notes that, to win, a contestant must be good at everything. So he really doesn’t think about specialty. “In the past, I would have said brisket. Now, maybe ribs. Really, you just have to do it all.”
Moonswiners has found a way to do it all – year after year.
Meantime, Madison Ribberfest Director Kathy Ayers estimated that this year’s festival attracted a record crowd, somewhere above 13,000 people. She attributed the continued success to the caliber of blues bands hired and the great weather the festival has enjoyed the past three years.
• For more information, visit: www.MadisonRibberfest.com.
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