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Jul 1, 2009 12:00 AM
Some people know Highlight Printing (Minneapolis) for its digital, offset, mailing and distribution services. Others know it for its chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket. Owners Lisa and Don Bickford have hosted a customer luncheon for the past five years. Don, a champion on the competition barbecue circuit, caters the event.
Don's team (“Full Frontal BBQ”) won 5th place for ribs and 7th place for its pork shoulder in the 2008 Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational. To advance to this annual competition in Lynchburg, TN, participants must win a state championship.
“It's been good for business,” says Don. “Thanks to the Food Network, everyone is interested in barbecuing.”
Competition barbecue is not for weekend duffers. Using charcoal or wood — gas isn't allowed — contestants start preparing their entries on Friday and generally are up all night cooking. Six judges — all sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society — evaluate the appearance, taste and tenderness of each entry.
Bickford's “kitchen” is a smoker hauled around in a small trailer. “It's fun,” he says. “Kind of like camping with the chance to win some prizes.”
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