If I were to summarize the long value statement of the newly formed Michigan BBQ Guild it would go something like this: We really love great cuts of meat smoked in a way that is unique to you, your culture, or your state, and believe they should be presented by and for all people at a price point that won't eliminate any folks' access to its goodness. This new guild seeks to place Michigan on the food map of vital places to visit for those who want to experience some of the U.S.'s best BBQ.
(The entire statement is here
Now I realize that the vegan might have an issue, but I am pretty sure that there is room for them too if they can find a way to get past the smoke-filled air of BBQ meat. (That is the deal-breaker, unfortunately, for many vegan BBQ cooks.)
Unlike in the past, this year's event will benefit our newly founded Michigan BBQ Guild. At press time our local pitmasters, as they like to be called, will include The Grilling Company, Don Everette Sr. (nickname The Grillmaster), Saladino Smoke, Dave's Que School, and Dallas Deli.
Also unlike the past, the pitmasters will be compensated based on their sales, so this adds a bit of an extra incentive to really kick up the heat as competition will be fierce.
Many of the folks that Grillstock had hoped to attract to their new location have had to either pass outright or make a last-minute scramble to remain a part of the festivities, as many of our local BBQ pitmasters are in high demand because of all the ArtPrize partying going on this weekend.
This new location offers a few other bonuses for the local vendors at the Downtown Market, as beverages will be available on site and customers will be able to walk around outside to enjoy the nice fall weather. Side dishes this year will be provided by the downtown market's vendors.
One of the organizers of this event is connected to Rapid Growth and has been cooking up good BBQ for many folks all over our city for some time…maybe even longer than our publication has been around.
Unlike last year, when the event was held behind The Mitten Brewing Company and out of sight from the public, this year, according to John Rumery, Rapid Growth's innovation news editor as well as co-founder of the Michigan BBQ Guild, "Our pitmasters will be lined up on the sidewalk - parallel to the farmers market stands – on the west side of Ionia."
The guild chose the new downtown market because they wanted to create some "synergy" with their existing vendors and to tap into the natural traffic flow from all the events happening downtown this weekend.
"There will be smoke and some really cool pits"" says Rumery.
My guess is that they will cook up such a storm they stop traffic.