Amazing but true!

Eric Johnson and Grace Thompson are world champions - at smoking a tender brisket.

The Slingerlands (Outside of Albany) couple won those bragging rights at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue at the Jack Daniels's distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

And, the overall winner was from Massachusetts. Now the Northeast can claim bragging rights as a center of barbecuing excellence.


LYNCHBURG, Tenn. (October 24, 2009) - I Que from Hopkinton, Mass., can claim the ultimate braggin' rights in competitive barbecuing, after taking home the title of Grand Champion at the 21st Annual Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue on Saturday evening in Lynchburg (pop. 361), Tenn.

I Que not only captured the top prize in what is considered by competitors to be the most prestigious barbecue contest in the world, but also finished second in pork shoulders/butts, second in desserts and eighth in chicken.

"I've been working for 10 years cooking barbecue every single weekend and this is my dream - my absolute dream," said Chris Hart, chief cook of I Que. "To win the Jack is the ultimate experience in barbecue."

As Grand Champion, I Que received $5,000 and secured an automatic berth to return to defend their title at the 2010 "Jack."

To compete at "The Jack," domestic teams must win a state championship with at least 25 teams or a competition of 50 teams, or win one of the premiere barbecue competitions that qualify a team for an automatic berth.

"Every team that cooked today worked hard to get here and they all deserve recognition, but only one team leaves as our Grand Champion," said Lynne Tolley, KCBS-certified barbecue judge and great-grandniece of Jack Daniel. "Every competitor comes to Lynchburg hoping to have the winning combination of equipment, team members, ingredients and technique and we congratulate I Que for hitting the mark today."

Jack's Old South from Unadilla, Ga., also finished strong as the Reserve Grand Champion, taking home a cash prize of $2,500.

Other top ten winners at this year's Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue are:

3. Bub-Ba-Q, Canton, Ga.
4. Tee Wayne's Smoking Lipps, Saint Amant, La.
5. Parrothead Smokers, Dakota Dunes, S.D.
6. Spitfire, Fargo, N.D.
7. Lakeside Smokers, Methuen, Mass.
8. Cool Smoke, Richmond, Va.
9. Mr. Bobo's Traveling BBQ Allstars!, Slingerlands, N.Y.
10. Dizzy Pig, Fairfax, Va.
For more information about this stunning victory for the Northeast ... Click Here