Neil Gallagher, a championship barbecue competitor from Grand Island, knows where he’ll be this weekend: in front of a television tuned to the Travel Channel.
Last year, a television crew followed Gallagher’s barbecue team around at “Memphis in May,” the world’s largest pork barbecue contest. Gallagher and his teammates on Too Sauced to Pork know they did quite well in the contest, arguably finishing among the top 10 in the 250-team field.
But how well will they do on television? When “Exposed: Cooking Competitions” rolls at 4 p.m. Sunday, they’ll find out.
Gallagher, who traveled to Tennessee for his 22nd Memphis in May, led a 60-person team, including his wife, Melissa. “We have leads for each of the categories, and assistants that help those leads,” Gallagher said. The categories are pork ribs, hot chicken wings, beef, poultry, exotic, seafood, and tomato, vinegar and mustard barbecue sauce.
“In 2012, out of over 250 of the best barbecue teams in the country, we took home two Top Tens (second place tomato sauce, eighth vinegar sauce); and a 13th in exotic, a goat dish; and two other top 20 finishes. Only six teams got five or more top twenties, a huge honor,” he said.
The team members come from all over the United States, he said.
“Of seven core members, four live in Memphis,” he said. “We founded our team as a way for barbecue enthusiasts from all over to come together for their love of barbecue. We allow people to join us and become members of the team for Memphis in May. It gives them a chance to experience the contest from inside a team booth.” In 2012 the team had members from 17 states and two other countries.
The team is accepting new members, he said. Contact Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org.