A Craft Barbecue Meat Up
By Darien Davies
If you’ve ever wished to taste all the best barbecue from local and national pit masters in one location, all while listening to live music and kicking back a few brewskis, your wish has been granted. The Annual Smoke & Sunshine is back and means serious barbecue business.
Why? Because these pit masters are not just dishing out their meat on plastic platters in a grab and go buffet-style dining experience. This indoor/outdoor event features 10 live fire stations where some of the best pit masters in the country will be flaming up their smokers and grills and whatever else the heck they want, all to provide you with fresh, juicy and drool-worthy dishes. Not only that, all proceeds benefit NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness, which provides aid in support of raising awareness for mental health issues in the hospitality industry.
Tropical Smokehouse’s Rick Mace will be joined by Andy Munoz of Moo’s Craft Barbecue, Bryan Furman of Bryan Furman BBQ, Charlie McKenna of Lillie’s Q, Hector Garate of Palmira Barbecue, Kerrey Bexley of Snow’s BBQ, and more. Some dishes to look forward to are Georgia style spareribs with peach barbecue sauce from Bryan Furman and bacon burnt ends with gouda grits from Jordan Wright.
“Tropical will be contributing a couple of stations, the first featuring whole fish cooked over live fire manned by our longtime friend and chef collaborator Luis Polanco. We will also be doing a dish we’ve been working on with crispy pork belly chicharrones, as well as a “fire and ice” themed dessert station featuring fire roasted pineapple served over shaved ice from our kakigōri machine,” Rick shared of Tropical’s smoking to come.
Described as a “live-fire symphony,” guests can expect to enjoy not only the best barbecue around (and from not around), but also live music from Surfer Blood, so plan to have both a party in your mouth and a party in your dancin’ shoes.
“What’s exciting for me is sharing this stage and showcasing what Florida barbecue means within the context of all of these other regional styles,” said Rick.
The event is held Saturday, January 20 from 12 to 3 p.m. at Tropical Smokehouse, which just so happens to be Tropical Smokehouse’s third birthday! General admission tickets are $85 per person and include all food. VIP Tickets are $125 per person and include early access, all food, welcome cocktail, and event swag. Drinks are not included.
3815 S. Dixie Highway, WPB