I was excited for this season of BBQ Pitmasters when I found out that two of my favorite people would be competing on the show this season – Garry Roark and Leslie Roark Scott of Ubon’s Barbeque of Yazoo. Having first met the duo at Memphis in May in 2012 and reuniting with them at this year’s incarnation of Memphis in May, I can say without a doubt that “them’s good people”. I asked Leslie if she’d like to talk about what it was like for her and her dad to be on this season of BBQ Pitmasters. Much to my excitement, she agreed! So without further delay, here’s Leslie talking about BBQ Pitmasters – A Ubon’s Adventure.
When Daddy and I got in the truck for our trip to Austin to tape BBQ Pitmasters, I knew we’d already won. My dad, Pitmaster Garry Roark of Ubon’s, and I have been competing together since 1991 (Wayne: the show mentioned that Ubon’s BBQ of Yazoo has been cooking BBQ since 1989). We work together every day, we hang out together on our porches, and we love a road trip.
Austin is about a 10 hour drive from Yazoo City. We were nervous when we left. The producers told us only to “bring what you’d need for a regular competition.” The majority of the contests we cook are Memphis Barbeque Network contests, so we are used to a “dog and pony show.” We took everything from tablecloths to grill garnish. You can imagine our surprise when we were given a beef shoulder and beef ribs for the competition. Ubon’s has always been a pork team: ribs, shoulder, whole hog. Beef…well we cook brisket in our Yazoo City restaurant, but a whole beef shoulder clod? Nope.
A good Pitmaster takes a challenge in stride. We talked at length about how we were going to cook the beef shoulder, what kind of injection we would do, and how long we’d cook before we wrapped. We decided to wrap our shoulder in plastic because that’s how we do our brisket at the restaurant. Last night I heard the judges give us a little hell for that. It’s something we’ve tried and it works for us.
We were surprisingly relaxed during taping. Daddy is and always will be a gentleman and I was pleased to see that the show portrayed him as such. Filming the show was honestly one of the most fun things we’ve gotten to do. The judges were kind and respectful, so I didn’t have to kick anyone’s butt (Myron!). We enjoyed the teams we cooked against and felt like we made some great friends.
On the way to the truck Saturday after we’d come in 3rd place (and heard that announced 100 times to get the take right) Daddy said, “I’m sorry we didn’t do better, little girl.” I said to him…”Daddy, I’ve seen the sun rise and set with you today. I don’t care how we placed, this was definitely a win for Ubon’s. “
Now hopefully they’ll let us try again and this time with HOG MEAT!!
A huge thank you again to Leslie from Ubon’s for taking time out to talk about the BBQ Pitmasters experience! If you have any questions for her about what it was like being on the show, leave them in the comments below. Maybe I can persuade her to come on and answer them…