She’s head hog
FRISCO – Brenda Cameron hasn’t always liked barbecue.
The New York native stumbled upon her position as head hog of the Coors Colorado Barbecue Challenge by luck – not because of an obsession for the smoky meats and sauces.
“I happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said Cameron, who – as the local Rotary Club’s director of fundraising – has been head hog of the annual event in Frisco for eight years now.
Cameron oversees the sponsorship and organization of the event which fills Frisco’s downtown area with the smell of mesquite and smoking meat for three days each August. She’s quick to say it wouldn’t be possible to pull off without Frisco’s help.
Cameron started the position at the same time the Kansas Barbecue Society sanctioned Frisco’s annual barbecue challenge – one of Summit County Rotary Club’s major fundraisers. Since then, the event has grown significantly.
Eight years ago, 37 teams, primarily from the Kansas City area, competed in the event which raised $7,000. Last year’s event raised $55,000 for the local nonprofit and this year’s challenge will feature 82 teams from at least seven states, including California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.
As the event has grown, so has Cameron’s taste for barbecue. She still remembers the first time she sampled “real” barbecue.
“I remember it vividly,” she said.
Cameron and two others traveled to Stillwater, Okla., to observe the town’s contest and get some training for Frisco’s. Event officials were short a judge and selected Cameron to fill in, despite her inexperienced palate. Within several hours, she had developed a taste for barbecue.
“I actually developed an insatiable taste for barbecue,” Cameron said with a laugh.
So insatiable, in fact, that Frisco’s annual event doesn’t curb Cameron’s cravings. Each October, she travels to Kansas City for the American Royal Barbecue Contest. And last Christmas, Cameron received a Kingfisher cooker, so she’s learning the art of barbecue at home.
On top of gaining an avid appreciation of barbecue, Cameron’s position as the head hog of Frisco’s contest has brought her new friends and much satisfaction.
“I have met some of the nicest, most interesting people in the country,” she said. “(I’ve) made some friends I know I will keep for the rest of my life.”
The Colorado Barbecue Challenge returned to Frisco’s Main Street Friday and will continue through Sunday. For more information, call (970) 668-5276, ext. 3076.
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