Crazy for BBQ: On the Road to American Barbecue Competitions

Crazy for BBQ: On the Road to American Barbecue Competitions

A passion for barbecue inspired two friends to travel thousands of miles across America to compete and launch their sauces and condiments business, What the Pork.

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Alexandre Bourgeois and Jocelyn Martel share an obsessive love of barbecue, which brought them to compete in the U.S. on the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCPS) Pro Circuit this summer, after a pandemic-enforced hiatus.

The duo, named What the Pork, will travel with their trailer to Maine, Vermont and Lake Placid, where they plan to shine with 100% Quebec products.

The Drummondville residents will look to top their 2019 performance, which placed them second in the world in the 10 matches and under category overall.

These two dads often live these adventures with their wives and kids. “Our passion has become a business and a family story,” says Mr. Bourgeois shares.

Pioneer of spices

Before the era of capsules available on YouTube, the two chefs developed their expertise after countless trials and errors.

If cooking chicken is Mr. Martel’s hobby, then Mr Brisket Beef is his partner’s specialty.

To differentiate themselves, these pioneers make their own pork seasonings and sauces. “That’s what keeps us busy every weekend,” they say.

Their products are available at 200 points of sale in Quebec. During the pandemic, sales of jars of sauces and spices exploded, as did barbecue equipment.

“We follow the momentum. It’s fun to watch! It’s gotten really big,” says the “real life” Superior Propane employee.

Great community

Profits from the products are used to fund expensive, but profitable competitions.

When they arrive on Friday evening, the two friends want to share a beer with the contestants and “steal” some stuff from them. “That’s where it pays off,” said Mr. Bourgeois comments.

These peers have befriended people like Bill Gillespie, who have inspired them. “It’s a wonderful community!” exclaims Mr. Martell.

Back in Quebec, the two will co-organize the Labonté BBQ Classic, which will bring 36 teams of “chefs” to the Sainte-Perpétue Pig Festival on August 6.

“We want to introduce competition”, they conclude.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

"Alcohol evangelist. Devoted twitter guru. Lifelong coffee expert. Music nerd."

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