Music, meat and mayhem come together once again in Bristol this summer at the third annual Grillstock Festival. Grillstock sizzles up the very best in BBQ Cooking and American music, from bands including Alabama 3 and Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires. And the daddy of BBQ Cooking in the US – Ray ‘Dr BBQ’ Lampe – will be leading the fray in the judging stakes at the BBQ Cook offs. Taste, texture and appearance are the main judging criteria. Beads of sweat will roll.
24 teams from around the world will be competing to become the ‘King of the Grill’ Grand Champion. Everyone from top chefs to backyard grillers fight it out over the smouldering coals. Last year over 15,000 food and music lovers attended Grillstock, wooed by the fabulous array of BBQ cooking techniques and food, from briskets and pulled porks to real American slow baked beans.
Other highlights of the festival include:
- Legendary Chilli Eating Competition
- Main stage with 9 fantastic acts
- Huge US style BBQ competition
- Pallet stage with slide guitars, banjo players, beatbox and street theatre
- Learn tips and tricks at the BBQ Academy
“Grillstock is one of the best BBQ events I’ve ever been to! It’s a fun day of great food and great music, with a Big Time Barbecue Cook-off right smack in the middle of it all. When the smoke rises in Bristol I will always be there!” … Ray ‘Dr.BBQ’ Lampe, US BBQ Pitmaster, Cookbook author and TV celebrity.
Earlier this month Ray Lampe hosted a BBQ masterclass to kick off the summer with various BBQ enthusiasts and restaurateurs in attendance. Neil Rankin from Pitt Cue Co said, “This kind of information is invaluable and could bypass years and misspent fortunes getting competition BBQ wrong. Ray Lampe’s energy, enthusiasm and knowledge in BBQ is second to none. A great day out whether you compete or not.”
Friends Jon Finch and Ben Merrington set up Grillstock in 2010 and have been overwhelmed with the response to it. ‘Bristol seems to sizzle and come to life over that weekend. We’ve created something we never dreamed would be so successful. This year it’s going to be even hotter!” says Jon.
Jon and Ben also created and run the award-winning California Rancher brand of premium BBQ rubs, BBQ meal kits, sauces and seasonings, which launch into Wholefoods this month. BBQ really is their choice of food and they created the range because could not find good quality, authentic, cook-at-home BBQ food in the UK. As Jon himself says, “BBQ is a serious business. You’ve got to get it right. Flavour is paramount.” California Rancher won Gold in the Great Taste Awards 2011 and Gold and Silver in the Taste of the West awards 2011.
Good food needs good music and Grillstock goes all out there too, with headliners including the US Soul Sensation, Charles Bradley & The Extraordinaires and the incredible Alabama 3, famous for their soundtrack for the hit TV show ‘The Sopranos’. It’s this fusion of BBQs and bands that creates a unique festival experience, right in the heart of Bristol.