Basin BBQ Blowout is back
The Odessa Chamber of Commerce is bringing the heat at their eighth annual Basin BBQ Blowout at the Ector County Coliseum.
The cookout serves as one of the main fundraisers for the Chamber and gives people an opportunity to “come out, meet with local members of the community and have fun,” said Madison Tate, Odessa Chamber of Commerce Marketing and Communications Specialist.
She said about 16 businesses had signed up to participate and connect with the community, while igniting some friendly competition as they battle for best barbeque titles. The categories include best chicken, best ribs, best brisket and best “other” meat. Tate said all of the meat for the competition and for the public was donated by Sysco and Market Street/Albertsons.
On a typical workday, many of the participants are doing paperwork, but the event allows them the chance to take a break from the office and step up to the grill.
Bob Blair, Atmos Energy survey specialist, said their team expects to feed at least 500 people. This will be Blair’s sixth year competing and he said what brings him back to the event is all of the different people and businesses that he gets to meet.
“We’re all just kind of backyard barbequers and we do it for the fun and really enjoy it,” Blair said.
Grillers gathered Thursday with both community engagement and victory on their minds.
UniFirst General Manager Blake Stephenson, said his team previously won first place in the best “other” meat category with their peppercorn sirloin and hopes to bring home another plaque.
Robert Hernandez, UniFirst’s grill master, put brisket on the grill the night before the competition, but said he has been at the UniFirst grill station since 6 p.m. Wednesday. Hernandez had his 3-year-old daughter supporting him as well. This is her second year attending the event.
“We teach them young,” Hernandez said.
“She’ll be ready to take over in three years,” Stephenson said.
Cotton Culinary is a newcomer to the competition, but said they have cooked their brisket for thousands of people and it is a winner. Patrick Bourgeois, overseeing Cotton Culinary Business Development, said the company has a fleet of about 25 chef-driven mobile kitchens that serve food to oilfield workers at man camps.
“We have a real big foot print here in Midland-Odessa as a company,” Bourgeois said, but he said they are also a FEMA preferred vendor.
“Any time there is an earthquake, fire, hurricane, or tornado we deploy,” Bourgeois said.
Cotton Culinary chef Jimmy Hickman said that during Hurricane Harvey helicopters airlifted food to Cotton Culinary trailers and they fed between 4,000-5,000 people a day.
“Our objective is to serve people good food, quality food,” Bourgeois said.