Iowa Barbeque Society gives for the 10th year

By Mike Tucker

Over 30 volunteers showed up to distribute many items and good que to the poeple of inner city Des Moines, Iowa.

On Saturday, December 13, 2008, the Iowa Barbeque Society once again gathered at the Salvation Army parking lot in Des Moines. Over 30 volunteers showed up bright and early to fire up their smokers and spread out hundreds of items to distribute to the people of inner city Des Moines.

This young lady was the recipient of one
of the many cakes distrbuted.

Hundreds of hand-knitted hats, coats, and gloves, over 100 fresh Christmas trees, nice used toys, one half ton of fresh cooked pork loin, 400 hot breakfasts, 20 gallons of hot cider, hot chocolate, fresh bread, cakes, cookies, and more were all distributed in less than two hours. The recipients ranged in age from toddlers to senior citizens. It was a bright sunny day and a good day for giving.

Thanks to Sysco Foods, Cookies BBQ, Smokey Ds BBQ, Russ and Franks, Hawgeyes, The ISU Meat Lab, Woody’s Smoke Shack, and primarily the Iowa BBQ Society for purchasing the meat and trees. The funding for the Iowa BBQ Society is provided by the Marshalltown BBQ contest, as well as membership drives and special events.

The line of people waiting for food, Christmas trees, etc. wrapped around the block.

Volunteers who helped were members of the IBS and Urban Dreams: Joe Cordray, Mike Tucker, Pat Jacobson, Speed Herrig, Bret Wram, Harlan Janssen, Terry Kirton, Chris Marshall, Jeff Wilkerson, Hank Maxwell, Shad Kirton, Leon Clemens, Russ Cerniglia, Woody Wasson, Brian and Jennifer Sweeny, Karen Kelly, Zach Butcher, Anne Rehnstrom, Kenna Joe Lambertson, Araceli Goode, Pam Long, Louis Long, Simon Long, Reggie, Tom Whitney, Mike Whitney, Steve & Chris Burch, John Monek, Ron & Dena Milhouse, Fred Horstman, Chris Wheeler, Michael, and FC Parrish.

During the event, Speed Herrrig was presented an award for 10 years of dedication to the Iowa Barbeque Society.

Speed Herrrig was also presented an award for 10 years of dedication to the Iowa Barbeque Society at the event.






Checkered Flag Cooking

Food, Life, & Fun Inside the Pits of American Stock Car Racing
Kent Whitaker's new book

***All photos by Kent Whitaker. Taken with full media credentials for select NASCAR BUSCH, ARCA, ASA, USAR events. Do not reproduce without permission. 2005***

A great thing happened after my publisher, Quail Ridge Press, published my first book. They asked a very simple, straight-forward, question. “What do you want to write about for your next book?” That is the kind of open-ended question about which a food writer dreams. What's even better is if said writer is a race fan. Without thinking, I quickly did a proposal for my next book. Checkered Flag Cooking: Food, Life, and Fun Inside the Pits of American Stock Car Racing! They loved the idea and sent me on my way!

For the last year, I have had the delight in cooking, eating, tailgating, interviewing, and just having fun with teams, drivers, fans, and more in the world of motor sports — NASCAR, BUSCH, CRAFTSMAN, ARCA, ASA, USAR, SAS, and more. My son, fiancé, and myself have traveled to tracks over the last summer, fall, winter, and this spring having a blast.

This past month I was invited to be the quest of The National Pork Board which sponsors the ARCA / Remax series and five-time ARCA Champ Frank Kimmel. We also were part of the team of the Hixson Motor Sports
1-800-SERVPRO #23 driven by Joe Cooksey. Seeing a last minute opportunity to get some final shots for the book, I called Kell and said my article for the next issue won't deal much with simple cooking like always. When he found out where I was headed, he didn't seem to mind. I made some calls to my NASCAR and BUSCH contacts, lined up a few photo ops and interviews,c onfirmed my meeting with the National Pork Board and Frank Kimmel, took Mace out of school early, picked up Ally, and headed to the new Nashville Super Speedway for an exciting weekend of NASCAR BUSCH and ARCA racing. Oh yea, and some great food!

It's mid -afternoon and we've just left the credentials office. Mace was proud to pick up his first pit passes and credentials. He wants to move from Karts to Stocks so bad it hurts. He had fun talking with some race officials. Ally and I have all of our pit passes, media and photo credentials in hand now. After a brief talk with a speedway media person, we are informed the private campground next to us is loaded with hard core fans and tons of grills and smokers. OFF WE GO!

We head over to the campgrounds, about 50 feet, and talk with the nice lady at the gate who loves the idea of interviewing some of her regulars. “This land has been in the family for generations. Now race fans trust us every race with their fun because they know we will treat them like family.” We follow her advice and look for the Bud camping area. “You won't miss these guys!” We drive around with the

mell of charcoal and hickory filling the air. “There they are, Dad,” Mace says. Ally directs me between spaces, and we park next to a Bud racing fans paradise.

Well, the Bud guys all seem to work with Ajax , and they love racing and tailgating. “I take this smoker to Nashville , ‘Dega, Daytona… all over the place!” Jackie Ballard says, lifting the lid on his smoker. “You bring your pretty lady and boy back after ya get done with qualifying, and we'll fed you some great que and cold ones.” According to Jackie and his buddy Bo, this racing group comes to the races for a great race… “And a great party.” Jackie says he can feed groups up to 50 people with his custom-built smoker. “I do chicken, chops, que, and even steaks. I fed a bunch of people during the Titans season this year!”

Another smoker caught my eye. It had smoke pouring out of it. Of course, I had to head over. Mace pointed out to me that qualifying had begun. “We will be heading to the track soon,” I assured him. Now this smoker which caught my eye had a neat feature. I asked about it, and Ben Briggs, Melissa Brown, and Ed Logsdon filled me in. “Those smoke stacks you're looking at are really chrome heavy duty truck pipes from a GMC tractor trailer.” Now that's fun! According to the trio, the smoke box was an antique stove Ben salvaged. The group was in the process of smoking a few butts, and the chicken would come later.

Time to head over to the track. I hooked up with Ally and Mace, and we met a great couple with their buddy and family dog, Stewart. Brian and Amie were from Columbus , Ohio , and they brought their friend, Jim, to enjoy the race. “We love to hit the races. We grill some chicken and asparagus topped with cream cheese wrapped in ham, cooked to perfection.”

Mace and Ally are pretty excited to drive through the big tunnel under the speedway. We flashed our badges and were waved through. Mace asked why the tunnel was so big. “They have to bring the car haulers in and out, so it has to be wide enough for two and tall enough. When we pop out, you can hear the ROAR of a car passing over our heads. I take note of the smile on Mace's face. Ally starts to point out to Mace the rows of car haulers in front of him and some of his favorite drivers. We park next to some drivers' RV's. “I have to find the National Pork Board People and Frank Kimmel.” Ally and Mace gather their items. Mace loads a camera bag, Ally grabs note pads and a few extra pens, and we are on our way.

With luck I run directly into Frank Kimmel. He remembers me from last year and the book, so the conversation is very fun. I introduce Mace and Ally to the five-time champion, and they both loved meeting him. “Are you going to be here tomorrow? The guys from the Pork Board are cooking.” I tell Frank I'd follow a great cut of smoked pork to a track across the globe! He smiles really big. “When you get a chance, look for me on ebay. We are auctioning off the hood of the car, signed for charity.” After a while, Frank heads over to his car and we head off to find everyone on my check list.

We hook up with Hixson Motor Sports. They are the team I used for the cover shots of the book. We interview Joe and meet his mom. I thank her for the great recipes and more. Then we head over to the media center to find NASCAR BUSCH Driver Tim Fedewa. Tim drives for Fitz Bradshaw racing. Yep, that's Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before I know it, I'm standing there with Terry Bradshaw's arm around my neck. “Hey, Tim! You and your buddy stand still for this photographer top take a few.” Fitz Bradshaw racing is sponsoring St. Judes, and Tim has one of their patients with him for the race. Not only is Tim a professional race car driver, he is also a GREAT cook. “I specialize in Italian cooking.” Tim's cooking is well-known and he has been showcased in magazines and on TV.

It's getting dark and there is a wreck on the track. Several cars have yet to make their run, and I have most of the interviews and pictures for the book. Being almost done, we head down to the very end of pit row just in time to see the Kingsford Charcoal car hit the track! Nice. The sun begins to set on the track. I look over and see my son and Ally standing arm in arm on the pit wall watching Ally's favorite driver head off. Ally is an Auburn grad and is from Auburn , Ala. , so she was an instant fan of the number 3 car driven by Marc Mitchell. Marc is an Auburn student and his car for select races is sponsored by Auburn University . WAR EAGLE. That's strange coming from a Vol's fan.

It's early. We hit the track at sun up, and I find the last of the drivers and pictures I need for the book. We get a chance to have Mace's picture taken with a few of his favorite drivers. We are hanging around with the Hixson Motor Sports crew waiting for the Pork Board to start cooking — it's EARLY. Suddenly, I'm tapped on the back by “Racing” Cain Langford. If you are from the Atlanta area, you may have heard of Cain. He drives in the southeast and races often at Lanier. “Hey, boy, you back in town to take my picture?” Cain strikes a great pose with a huge smile. I introduce him to Ally and Mace. “Where's your car? Why are you in jeans?” I ask. “Well, I told the guys the car felt weird. Kind of just puttered along. I couldn't even get it to go over 150 mph or so. Then the whole thing just broke. I'm here to watch the rest of the guys and smoke a good cigar.” Cain is a great guy to talk up racing with.

It's morning time and while most people are eating pop tarts and biscuits, Jim Stevenson of Smithfield Meats and the crew from the National Pork Board have invaded the garage area. Set up right next to Frank Kimmel's Advance Auto Parts/Pork Board car hauler, Jim and his crew go to work. “We cook over 500 pounds for each race day meal. I get started about 7:30 actually cooking tenderloins.” According to Jim, he and the Pork Board will feed a bunch of race crews. “All before the green flag drop!”

Starting off, I notice Jim has a different set up than last year. “Instead of the monster smoker and grill I used last year, I have switched to a setup with several pellet smokers. This allows me to cook a bit more controlled. I can check the tenderloins as they go quicker, close the lid, and move to the next smoker.” Jim explains that way the lid is never up too long on any smoker. “I'm using up to four Traeger wood pellet smokers. I can start cooking at 7 or so and start feeding people just before noon .

It's noon and the garage area is filled with smoke and the smell of barbecued pork tenderloins. Jim is busy with his thermometer checking each tenderloin before handing it off to a prep person. “I bring it up to temp and hand it off and head to the next loin. I figure by the end of this round, we will feed anywhere from 1,700 to 1,750 people.” Jim closes the lid and opens another. “This multiple smoker set up lets me work better. It's easy to keep the flow going.” Smoke fills the air, Mace takes a few pictures, and Ally jots down a few names, looks up at the row of workers, points them out to me, looks me dead in the eye, and says.. “Sweeeeeet!”

She's right. Sweet it is. Smoke has filled the garage area. The view and smell must be amazing from the crowd in the stands wondering what is going on in the pits. As Jim pulls off a tenderloin, he hands it to a prep person. This person lifts the loin, with gloved hands, places it on a clean board, and with the skill of a doctor, starts slicing it into 1/3 inch cuts. The pan of sliced loin is passed to more Pork Board people, who quickly place the meat on a bun. The sandwich is quickly wrapped, placed on a serving tray, and passed to servers. The servers, in turn, serve to the line of hungry people. And what a line it is — track workers, fans with pit passes, ARCA officials, team members, drivers, BUSCH team members and drivers, and even a fireman or two. Where else can a fan say they stood next to their favorite professional driver eating a barbecue sandwich topped with Cookies Barbecue Sauce” All thanks to the National Pork Board – The Other White Meat, and Jim from Smithfield.

When the smoke clears, the team members, drivers, and officials head off. The Pork Board tent is empty and the cleanup begins. It's 12:45 and Jim and his crew made almost 1,800 sandwiches. “I know that's the number because that's how many buns we had.”

All of the interviews are done. Ally, Mace, and myself head to the media area at the end of pit row next to pit stall number one. We are about five feet away from the NASCAR BUSCH timing crew, and Mace is leaning on the pit wall with his camera ready. We all put on our hands over our hearts and listen to the National Anthem. Then we hear the most exciting words in sports… “Drivers….. START YOUR ENGINES!!!!!” The sound is ear-splitting, even with professional ear protection. You can feel the sound of the motors in your chest. With a wave of a sign and a few hand signals, the official allows the cars to head out on the track behind the pace car. After a few passes, the pace car eases off the Super Speedway and the line of cars, two by two, thunder toward us. When they pass by, the air is sucked away. I look at Ally and she is holding onto her cowboy hat. Mace is trying his best to keep up with the cars with his camera. They both have huge smiles on their faces.

We end up on top of the car hauler for Joe's Hixson Motor Sports
1-800-SERVPRO car to enjoy the race. We all had a great time, ate fantastic food, and I decided I needed to write another book about racing!

Kent “The Deck Chef” Whitaker is a food writer and author for Quail Ridge Press. He is a past winner of Emerils Barbecue Contest and appeared on Food Network. His books are available across the country at any bookstore or online. You can also order by calling 1-800-343-1583. You can visit Kent at

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