Posts By / Amy Mills


Future Legends of Barbecue

The Future Legends of Barbecue cook-off is one of the most heartwarming events with which we’re involved. The brainchild of Starr Teel, pitmaster of the excellent Hubba Hubba Smokehouse in Flat Rock, North Carolina, and masterfully organized by Starr, Paige Hafner, and a stellar team of volunteers, the event is staged at various summer camps in the region.

October 2012 marked the fourth annual contest, which, along with a Camp for All Barbecue Ball & Auction, helps raise money to send less privileged children to summer camp. Camp helps children build communities, form lifelong friendships, and learn all sorts of life skills. Sounds analogous to barbecue, right?

We’ve watched these children learn and grow leaps and bounds over the past four years — both literally and in their barbecue skill set. Their eyes sparkle as they enthusiastically show us their clever, themed cook sites, explain their processes, and offer bites of food. While their barbecue is on the pit, they spend hours running, playing, and gathered around the fires, enjoying a fine fall day at the base of the gorgeous mountains. No technology. Just fresh air and the smell of smoke.

Their faces light up with joy when they hear their names called during awards. And disappointment shows if they’re not so fortunate. No poker faces with children.

I hope you’ll be inspired to support  this contest. If you live in the region, please consider forming or mentoring a team. Donate money or goods/services for the contest and auction. If you’re a big company, send money and invest in these children.

They are our future.

Future Legends of BBQ (web) from Obsidian Collective on Vimeo.


Bite the Bulleit

BulleitMelonWe were delighted to partner with Bulleit Bourbon and our local distributor, Wirtz Beverage Group, to raise funds for Toys for Tots during the holidays. Founder Tom Bulleit was on hand to sign bottles and greet special guests at kick-off cocktail parties held in our Marion and O’Fallon locations. We developed special recipes, each using Bulleit as an ingredient, and a percentage of proceeds from those menu items, augmented with a significant amount from Bulleit, was donated to Southern Illinois Toys for Tots. The items, particularly the Bulleit Wings, were so popular that a few might be making a repeat appearance. Stay tuned!