Tagged / Memphis in May


Memphis in May: Lessons Learned From Rocky

MemphisInMay_Rocky3 So we’ve spent some time licking our wounds, watching Rocky III, and eating humble pie in the Apple City Barbecue headquarters. Have you seen Rocky III recently? You know, the one where Rocky gets so caught up with accolades and press that he doesn’t fare so well? Yeah.


The mood grew more somber as we waited … and waited … and waited some more for the results.

Memphis in May, Apple City BBQ

Sprinkled with our famous Magic Dust® dry rub, these Compart Duroc ribs were tender and delicious.

Our goal was to cook savory, delicious, authentic barbecue without relying on the current tricks of the trade, namely honey, agave nectar, brown sugar, and squeeze margarine. Thanks to our sponsor, Compart Duroc, we used the finest quality of ribs available. And they were delicious. So delicious, in fact, that we had very high hopes, right up until the end. However, when we heard one of the top three teams describing the peach preserves, applesauce, orange marmalade, fig preserves, and cinnamon they used on their winning ribs, I knew we weren’t even in the running.

That’s okay with me … Mike, however, is still not pleased. “I did not enjoy getting my ass whipped,” was the direct quotation.


Compart Duroc … the best pork ever!

It takes a village to put together an event and we feel very fortunate to have the best team of supporters ever. We cooked delicious pork donated by our sponsor Compart Family Farms. Townsend Spice & Supply blends our Magic Dust® and they have the best spices on the planet. Huge thanks to them for sponsoring our sharp team shirts. Arthur Agency designed our graphics and Silkworm, Ink. printed/embroidered our t-shirts and team shirts. We’re so grateful to all of you for being part of our team and helping us look good!


The Townsend Spice & Supply family and partners. Incredibly fine people.


No matter the outcome, we had a terrific time competing at Memphis in May. I’m pretty sure you’ll see the Apple City Barbecue team competing again.

Read more about our Memphis in May adventures: filming The Chew and Danish National Team shirt exchange



The One-7: Chris Lilly

Chopping pork at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Photo by Ken Goodman

Chopping pork at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Photo by Ken Goodman

Chris is a respected restaurateur, fierce competitor, and cherished friend. We’re fortunate to spend time with him and the McLemore/extended Big Bob Gibson family at a number of events each year. Mike will tell you that no Memphis in May is complete without a slice of that famous Big Bob Gibson pie. I was on the team of finals judges who awarded Chris his third World Grand Champion title at Memphis in May in 2011, enabling him to join the ranks of Apple City Barbecue and Jack’s Old South in the exclusive three-time Memphis in May World Grand Champion club. Here’s Chris’s take on the One-7:

1. Travel destination: Rocky Mountains

2. Favorite cut of meat to cook: Ribs {pork, beef, lamb}

3. Favorite pie: Chocolate Pecan

4. Best gift received: My children

5. Hero: My father

6. BBQ joint I’d like to visit: any jerk shack in Jamaica

7. Words I live by: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~Albert Einstein

Visit Chris at Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, Alabama and add his book to your collection. He’s also featured in Peace, Love, and Barbecue. You can see Chris on a number of shows about barbecue including the Kingsford Invitational {of which he was the host} and BBQ Pitmasters.

The One-7 spotlights barbecue luminaries and gives a little insight into their worlds.