The Daily Review/Bill Decker
Barry Smith, right, holds the trophy and the ring signifying his victory as reserve champion in Saturday's Bayou BBQ Bash, an event staged by the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce. Also shown from left are past Chamber Chairman Bob Harrison; Len Klutts, who designed and crafted the 10-karat gold championship ring; and Chamber Vice Chairman Jo Anne Bergeron.
UPDATED: Hammond cook wins top BBQ Bash prize
Brady S mith of Hammond was at his trailer under the bridge Saturday at the Bayou BBQ Bash when organizer Don Tellman rolled up in his wheelchair.
They laughed and joked about hard luck Smith had experienced in his five previous entries in the bash, mostly with the brisket competition.
Smith even called it a curse.
“I’ve done real well, except for brisket,” Smith said in an interview.
But the curse was lifted Saturday. Smith won first in the brisket competition on the way to the overall championship in the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce-organized event.
Smith finished third in ribs and eighth in chicken.
He started barbecuing in a small way in 2009, cooking against friends in backyard competitions.
“One year, I decided to try a pro event,” Smith said, “and learned I didn’t know what I was doing.”
But he stayed at it and eventually learned the biggest lesson he’s picked up from competitions: “You learn how to handle adversity better.”
In addition to the big trophy and bragging rights, Smith received a 10-karat gold championship ring designed and produced by Len Klutts of Klutts Jewelers in Morgan City.
The winner of the local trophy was Barry Walker of Down on the Bayou Cajun BBQ.
Walker is a product of Morgan City who moved to Atlanta. He came home a couple of years ago to be with his family and is working to get his barbecue business going.
“I haven’t really ramped it up like I want to yet,” Walker said, “but I’m getting ready to do it.”
(This article has been updated to correct Smith's name.)