Barbecue legend recalls trophy he won in 1973

Buddy King of Wichita and his family are pictured with Johnny Trigg, a two-time world champion and the ‘Godfather of Ribs,’ during the barbecue competition at Sand Creek Summer Daze.

By Blake Spurney

NEWTON – Johnny Trigg recalled a barbecue competition he won in Newton in 1973.

“They had a very unusual trophy, a water tower,” he said, which was glued to a big piece of limestone.

Trigg, 83, is used to winning trophies for his barbecue. He twice has won the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue and was appeared on TLC’s “BBQ Pitmasters.”

Known as the “Godfather of Ribs,” he has traveled the world to serve of barbecue and he’s a personal friend of Guy Fieri.

“I’m not as active as I used to be,” he said. “The most I’ve ever done is 48 and that was two or three times. There’s only 52 weeks a year. I was busy.”

Trigg, of Alvarado, Texas, said it used to be when he pulled up to an event, other contributors would say, “There’s Trigg, we’re fighting for second place.”

“I love it. When it’s real fun, you’re winning,” he said. “When you’re cooking skills diminish, you still do it.”

While at the Sand Creek Saucy & Glazed Barbecue competition, other competitors would stop him to get a picture taken with him.

“There’s probably more pictures of Johnny Trigg than anybody in barbecue,” said Buddy King of Wichita. “Everybody wants a picture with Johnny Trigg.”

John Beaver of Thornton, Colo., said he got into touring barbecue festivals because of Trigg.

“Everyone did it because the pitmaster brought people in,” he said.

Beaver said he enjoyed the camaraderie of barbecue competitions.

“If I forget my charcoal, anybody will give it to me and we’re all trying to beat each other.”

After answering a few questions Friday evening in his air-conditioned trailer, Trigg told a visitor it was time to go to work for the next day’s competition.

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