By HSIAO-CHING CHOU
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER FOOD WRITER
It didn’t rain and people showed up in droves. Everything else was sweet, spicy barbecue sauce.
The P-I’s Low & Slow “Light” BBQ Northwest Championship last Saturday in the University District drew thousands of enthusiasts who stood three-deep “grilling” competitors about technique, the virtues of regional cooking styles, and the composition of a perfect sauce or rub. If they were lucky, they tasted the meats of the barbecuers’ labor.
The teams — including Bulldog BBQ, Aggieny & ExTexasy, Burning Sensation, Grills on Fire, and Rainbow Catering — started pulling up to the Ave at 6 a.m. to pitch their canopies and light their cookers, some of which were large enough to require towing. Not long after that, the smoke began to rise above the two-block stretch, engulfing it in the aroma of good “Q.”
People who had to park blocks and blocks away said they could smell the event before they even got close to the site. When they arrived, they discovered that a barbecue competition, beyond the food itself, is about people and hospitality.
“If you’re going to cook barbecue,” said Sharon Yarbrough, “you have to be a very open person.”