Grillin’ On The Bay Is Today!

Bayback Ribs - GOTB 2011 - Source: James Boo/

It’s back! On Saturday, March 24, NYC’s only BBQ contest, Grillin’ On The Bay returns to Sheepshead Bay. Twenty barbecue teams will fight for the title of NYC’s best barbecuer. Chili cooks will battle it out in the Brooklyn Chili Smack Down, a people’s choice event.

We heard your cry – THERE WILL BE BARBECUE FOR SALE!!! I’m being told that the award winning team of Three Men and a Babyback, (Babyback? Get it? Babybacks are a type of pork ribs), will be selling pork ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and returning with the pulled pork parfaits that were so popular last year. The three men will start serving at 11:00 am.

BBQ too heavy for you? The school will be grilling up hamburgers, hot dogs and maybe a few surprises.

The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down kicks off at 1:00 pm. Last year we had 25 different chili’s for you to try.  For only $10, you, yes you, the people of Brooklyn, get to try it all and choose the winner of the The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down.  This is democracy at its finest.

The barbecue teams will begin to arrive around 6:00 am. Many will have their fires lit before the sun comes up. This year’s food categories are vegetable, chicken wings, pork ribs and chef’s choice, where the pit masters come up with some outrageous grilled concoctions. All of this will be judged by a team of highly trained professionals.

Nancee and Greg - Purple Turtle Caterers

In honor of Nancee Gell, winner of the first Grillin’ On The Bay as the lead cook of Purple Turtle Catering, we have established the  Nancee Gell Memorial category. In this category, each cook must create a tantalizing dish using crab meat on the  wood-burning grill.

If that’s not enough for you, inside the school, St. Mark will be holding a Spring Boutique, filled with crafts, foods and all sorts of stuff that gets sold at that sort of thing.

Sully and Terry will be back this year selling those outrageous homemade burritos.  Damn, they were good and they sold out fast. I got a taste of one, only a taste mind you, but my family assures me that they were mighty fine eating.

Be sure to check out BBQ Billy on Saturday. When Bill’s not kicking butt at barbecue contests, he’s above the Die Hipster Line working on bringing his ‘que to Brooklyn. I’m really looking forward to his new joint, but I hope we can convince him to bring it to the true heart of Brooklyn, Sheepshead Bay. Those damn hipsters don’t deserve real barbecue!

Grillin’ on the Bay and The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down is once again sponsored by RUB BBQ, (Manhattan’s finest barbecue restaurant), YELP! and of course us; Sheepshead Bites! This event is sanctioned by the New England Barbecue Society, who is always looking for new judges. Ask any contest official on how you can get in on the free food at next year’s event.

The gates will be open from 6:00 am, but the real action starts around 11:00 am. The award ceremony begins at 5:00 pm, but get there long before that. Barbecue is a sport from a much simpler time; creating barbecue takes many, many hours. Once the food’s gone, it’s gone. Get there early!

Grillin’ On The Bay and The Brooklyn Chili Smack Down
Saturday, March 24, 11:00 am until 5:00 pm — Rain or Shine.
Corner of East 18th Street and Avenue Z
For information: (917) 763-5062