Three of the dishes in the Anything Bush’s Beans category at Sevierville’s Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass on Friday were mind-boggling in their appearance. Last year I thought the carrot cake made with beans was impressive. This year, I saw a chocolate trifle, a chocolate cake and banana pudding that looked even better.
The trifle came to the table where I served as judge. The cake was at the table next to me. As the judging ended, there was some chatter in the room about a banana pudding that was so close to the real thing that nobody could taste the beans. Before the pudding reached the grazing table, one of the head judges asked the cook team for a clarification. The word came back that the pudding contained pureed cannellini beans.
The meat categories were judged by certified Kansas City Barbeque Society judges on Saturday. According to the Twitter feed for Nibble Me This, the Grand Champion of this year’s Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass was the hometown Smoky Mountain Smokers. The guy I interviewed last year, Mike Davis of Lotta Bull BBQ, won the Kingsford Points Chase, which will help him compete for the $25,000 grand prize to be awarded this Fall.