GAINESVILLE - In a repeat of the ultimate outcome at the inaugural event four years ago, Myron Mixon from Unadilla, Ga., and the team from Jack's old South Barbecue won grand champion honors at the fourth annual Brenau University barbecue festival after taking first place in the whole hog cooking competition.
The champs also placed third in the cooking category for pork shoulder and fourth in the ribs category en route to compiling the best composite score for meat preparation among the 16 professional teams that entered the competition.
The competition, sanctioned by the Memphis Barbecue Network, covers only the three categories. It was administered by a visiting team representing MBN with independent certified judges from nine states, all of whom must undergo some training before assessing works of the professional cooks.
Mixon, a three-time world champion, won the first Brenau competition, but not the second. He missed the third because of a scheduling conflict, but vowed to return this year and win the title.
He was good to his word, but had a fight on his hands from the teams representing Bubba Grills of Haddock, Ga., and Dixie Cue from Macon, Ga. The Macon team won first place in the ribs category but was 6th in the shoulder and second in whole hog. Bubba Grills won the shoulder category but was 5th in whole hog and second in ribs.
On the amateur side of the completion, called "Backyard Braggarts" at Brenau, a team from skyline contractors in Gainesville, Ga., won the shoulder category and butts & Brews from Athens, gas, won the ribs category.
The Brenau festival was created to help raise money for scholarships. Officials estimated that more than 4,000 people attended and participated in the Friday night preview party and the all-day Saturday competition.