7th Place Finish

Beth Mewborn

J&B's BBQ
Final Score
90.0953992
KCBS Score
687.9768
WFC Score
85.25

My fondest memory was being able to spend time with my daughter on her birthday. She was totally enamored of all the television cameras everywhere.

As an 8th grade math teacher for special education in Lawrenceville, GA, Beth Mewborn is used to new challenges every day. So competing in the inaugural Cowboy Charcoal Fire & Ice Women's Barbecue Championship Series , which culminated at the World Food Championships last November in Orange Beach, AL, was not intimidating to her.

"When Fire & Ice was announced, we were excited for the opportunity! We competed in 14 contests to qualify and took home one grand championship and two reserve grand awards, so we were ready."

Beth and her husband Justin earned enough points in those Kansas City Barbeque Society competitions to qualify for the Fire & Ice finals and cook with nine other top female pitmasters for a share of $15,000 in "Ice" gift certificates from Manning Jewelry. "I was excited to compete with these amazing women and against teams that don't necessarily cook in the southeast like I do."

In addition to her husband, Mewborn brought her daughter along to celebrate her 7th birthday weekend. ("She sleeps while we're cooking.") It wasn't all hard work as the Mewborns took at least a little time to enjoy themselves. "We're beach people, so we made it a point to spend ten minutes to put our toes in the water."

But the rest of the time was spent preparing and competing in the two-day challenge. The first round was a grilling competition where the contestants had two hours to prepare a dish for a panel of judges using Cowboy Charcoal and a Bull Outdoor grill. The prospect made Mewborn nervous. "I had never competed in grilling before. It's not necessarily a strength for me." But she rose to the occasion with her Caribbean jerk pork tenderloin with mango/pineapple salsa, placing well enough to still be in range of the win after round 2.

"We knew grilling wasn't our strength, but day two allowed us to get into our normal KCBS groove." Indeed the second round was a more traditional competition where the contestants prepared the four standard KCBS meats: chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. Mewborn's confidence was definitely well-founded as her J&B's BBQ team scored 687.97 points out of a possible 720, the top score among all ten Fire & Ice contestants and good enough to place her in 14th place out of all of the 79 competitors in the WFC BBQ division.

Even though her performance was not quite good enough to place in the top two of Fire & Ice, Mewborn was pleased with the result. "I'll take a 688 any day of the week. That score would win a lot of contests, but that just shows the quality of the competition at the WFC." She did take home a $1000 gift certificate from Manning Jewelry for her performance, and more importantly, some great memories. "My fondest memory was being able to spend time with my daughter on her birthday. She was totally enamored of all the television cameras everywhere and it was great to watch her have such a blast and get to take her up on stage with me."

Mewborn also has some good advice for anyone thinking of getting into food sport. "Just jump in! It may seem daunting and overwhelming at first, but the people involved are just so kind to welcome you in. We really are a family." For Beth and her husband and daughter, Cowboy Charcoal's Fire & Ice really was a family affair, including her extended barbecue family.