St. Amant barbecue cooks, Brian Lipps and Tee Wayne Abshire, traveled to Lynchburg, Tenn. this past weekend for the 22nd Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue on Saturday.


St. Amant barbecue cooks, Brian Lipps and Tee Wayne Abshire, traveled to Lynchburg, Tenn. this past weekend for the 22nd Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue on Saturday. 

Seventy-eight teams from thought the U.S. and teams from Australia, Austria, Germany, Canada, England, Estonia, Norway, Puerto Rico, Poland and Switzerland gathered in Lynchburg battling to become “grand champion” in the most prestigious barbecue contest in the world.

Out of the 76 teams competing in “The Jack,” as it is known by competitors, Lipps and Abshire’s team, “Smokin’ Lipps” finished 7th overall and took 1st place in the chicken competition.

“Seventh in the world isn’t too bad,” Abshire said after the competition. “We will take that.”

Though they make not have taken 1st place, just qualifying for the competition is an accomplishment in itself, one that Smokin’ Lipps has achieved for the past three years.

“They start with 5,500 teams nationwide and they whittle it down to 78 at the end,” Abshire said. “I know people that have been cooking for 20 years and have never been invited to ‘The Jack,’ so for us to go three years in a row its a big honor.”

To qualify teams must win at a state level then be selected from a draw.
“It’s a contest, you can’t buy your way into,” Abshire explained. “You have to be invited and win your way in it by winning at state championships barbecue cook offs.”

Most states have championship barbecue cook offs throughout the year and the winner from each one goes into a draw for the Jack Daniel’s World Championship.

In Louisiana, there are nine state championships. Lipps and Abshire cook separately in the state competitions and at the end of the year had a total of five wins; Abshire with three and Lipps with two.

Lipps got the draw this year, so he was listed as head cook of the team with Abshire as his helper. Last year Abshire got the draw for the team, who has been cooking competitively for almost four years.

In 2009, between the two of them out of 25 competitions, Lipps and Abshire won seven grand champion awards and 11 reserve grand champions.

Sticking with the famous Jack Daniel’s Old. No. 7 theme, the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is made up seven categories; pork ribs pork shoulder/butts, beef brisket, chicken, dessert, cook’s choice and Jack Daniel’s sauce.

The grand champion was determined by finishes in the four main categories of pork ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket.

In last year’s competition the team was the only one out of 78 to have three top ten finishes, winning in 2nd in the chicken, 6th in ribs, and 7th in brisket.

Abshire and Lipps are already preparing and looking forward to the 2011 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue with a year full of competitions ahead.

“The actual barbecue fiscal year for Jack Daniels is Sept. 1 to Aug. 31,” Lipps explained. “So as of this year going into 2011, I am fortunate enough to have two entries already into Jack Daniels of ‘11.”