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Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, Episode 250: Sterling Smith, Richard Fergola

Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast

Release Date: 03/05/2024

Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, Episode 261: Barking Dog BBQ show art Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, Episode 261: Barking Dog BBQ

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We’re all about celebrating the iconic BBQ teams on the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, but we also love to shine the spotlight on those up-and-coming teams who achieve big things. This week on Episode 261, we focus on Barking Dog BBQ out of Kansas City, a team of childhood friends Dave Lillis, Kevin Bunting and Brian Tuttle. Barking Dog BBQ (we explore the origin and meaning of that unique team name) just won its first career KCBS Grand Championship and we talk the guys about their love of BBQ and how they’ve been able to take it to a championship level. We also talk Memorial Day Weekend...

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One of the greatest to light a pit - and a great friend of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Show since the beginning on local, low-powered radio - joins us for an extended conversation on Episode 258. Brad Leighninger just passed the 11-year anniversary of his first BBQ Grand Championship. Now, 70 GCs later, Gettin’ Basted is a three-time KCBS Team of the Year, a Jack Daniels World BBQ Invitational Grand Champion, Brad is a part of the Blues Hog 2022 Memphis in May World Champion. He’s also co-owner of four restaurants in the southwest Missouri area including a couple of new ones in the tourist-mecca...

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On Episode 257 of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, we talk it over with one of world’s hottest pitmasters. Eric Coley from Alabama’s Poppa Pig BBQ is leading the KCBS Team of the Year standings with three Grand Championships and seven top-10 finishes in eight 2024 competitions. It’s a start that’s signaled a breakthrough after Eric went through a two-year stretch of top-10 finishes without nailing the GC. What has changed? Eric talks about that, plus his career in competition BBQ and how a DQ after missing turn-in with some of the best brisket he ever cooked was a big turning point. In...

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Jon and Jason Wade of Optimus Swine BBQ out of Williamsburg, Virginia have one of the hottest competition BBQ teams around. Since moving into the KCBS Master’s division a couple of years ago, the Wades have seven Grand Championships and seven RGCs in 63 competitions. They also own and operate two BBQ restaurants in the Williamsburg area, Two Drummers Smokehouse and 2 Drummers Butchery and BBQ Provisions. On Episode 256 of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, we talk it over with Jon Wade about the team’s success in both aspects of BBQ and about the crossover of restaurants and competition...

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Based in north central North Dakota, Burnt Trees BBQ has a long haul no matter where it goes for a competition. But the husband-wife team of Nick and Shannon Holman is almost always a contender when it arrives, with its 2024 debut proving the point. Burnt Trees BBQ captured the 97-team Smoke in the Spring in Osage City, Kansas, topping the 700-point mark for the first time. On Episode 255 of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, we visit with Nick and Shannon about their shared BBQ passion and the challenges of being a northern-based competition team. We also check in with Richard Fergola from...

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There are dozens of options available these days for BBQ-themed podcasts, unlike just a few years ago when the options were relatively limited. One of the longest-running shows is Baseball and BBQ, with co-hosts Leonard Aberman and Jeff Cohen. Combining two of America’s favorite past times, Leonard and Jeff have found a sweet spot with engaging guests who speak with knowledge to baseball, BBQ or both. Now in season seven, we caught up with Len and Jeff as the Major League Baseball season gets underway and, even as their beloved New York Mets struggle, it’s always a good time when we talk...

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Welcome to Episode 253 of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, where we’re joined by the founders of America’s foremost weekly digital news authority on live-fire cooking. It’s been a while since we visited with Ryan Cooper and Sean Ludwig from The Smoke Sheet. Their weekly newsletter that arrives in subscribers’ in-boxes each Wednesday and Friday with a variety of content including BBQ trends, restaurant features, product news and recipes. On our extended conversation, Ryan and Sean tell us about a recent excursion to the Carolinas where they experienced old-school and new-school BBQ...

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Spring has officially arrived, which means there are BBQ competitions across the land each weekend from now through early November - not to mention hundreds of thousands of backyard cooks are firing up backyard smokers and grills. On Episode 252 of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, we talk to one of American’s most-colorful pitmasters and brand ambassadors, plus a Kansas City-area team that took home a big championship last weekend. Starting us off at the 7:05 mark of the show is a conversation with Craig Verhage, marketing director of Royal Oak Charcoal. Craig tells us about the latest...

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More Episodes

On Episode 250 of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast, we talk it over with two of competition BBQ’s top pitmasters - and most-colorful characters. First up is Richard Fergola from Fergolicious BBQ and marketing director of Proud Souls BBQ and Provisions. “Fergie” and the Proud Souls team is ready to throw a big first anniversary bash this Saturday, March 9th, at Proud Souls BBQ Kansas City. A full day of cooking demos and great food will be available.

Then it’s time to talk it over with Sterling Smith of Loot ’n Booty BBQ, a recent inductee into the California BBQ Association Hall of Fame. “Smitty” is always a great guest and this time he talks about the Hall of Fame honor plus his Loot ’n Booty Apple Cherry Sauce which recently earned first-place honors in the National BBQ Association awards.

Fergie and Smitty also are going to be teaching classes together, later this month in Costa Rica and suburban Chicago. What happens when they get together for a class? “It’s like riding a unicorn through a mystic land, full of meat and clowns. And there’s knives involved. And maybe we might talk about aliens or pyramids at some point,” Smith says. 

We also hear from Gene Newkirk with the Kickin’ it on Route 66 BBQ Festival, Skyler Spartan with The Grill Guys weekly report and the Smoke ’n Magic BBQ Minute with Breana Via. Co-hosts Lyndal and Steve discuss their weekly cooking adventures, plus take a quick spin through news and notes from the competition BBQ world.

Thanks to all our sponsors and marketing partners for making the show possible: 
Blues Hog #blueshognation
Royal Oak Charcoal #teamroyaloak2023
The Butcher Shoppe #alwayshandpicked 
Proud Souls BBQ Kansas City #proudsoulsbbqkc #kingdomofq 
The Grill Guys of Missouri
Smoke ’n Magic BBQ #SmokenMagic
Vietti Marketing Group  
Marty "Real Sign Man" Prather #pizza

Have a great BBQ week! #SmokeEmIfYouGotEm