2 Lil' Macs BBQ is the little piggy of "The Jack." The Broomfield-based team is now en route to Lynchburg, Tennessee, for the 22nd Annual Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue. The contest will be smokin' today and tomorrow, with teams competing for $30,000 and prizes.
We caught up with Ryan McBreen, the pitmaster of 2 Lil' Macs, as he loaded up his team (not some amalgamation of drinking buddies who needed to pad their stomachs for beer, but a real family affair)
for the trek across the country.
Turns out the team is named after McBreen's two children, and he's backed by his dad and father-in-law. His wife, mother and mother-in-law, as well as the kids, help out, too. When wood hits the fire, it's like a family reunion for this crew.
Which means this team is technically representing the State of Wyoming, but it's still based in Colorado -- and it's competing in one of the food world's biggest challenges. "We are a rookie team going against the best teams in the U.S. and the world," he says. "I just hope we compete well and do the best we can and not embarrass ourselves."
And what is the secret recipe? When pushed, McBreen eventually broke, admitting that they "only pretend to cook and get Chili's take-out to turn in for the judges."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.