The Shawnee Mission East parking lot will be transformed into a small-scale version of the American Royal Barbecue Competition complete with smokers the size of small cars, home-made sauces and meat galore this Sunday. The 2nd annual Lancer-que, organized and run by Student Council, is a fundraiser for the Johnson County Christmas Bureau.
Five official judges from the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) will judge five categories: chicken, pork ribs, beef, sauce and “open”, with the official rules and judging criteria of the KCBS. The open category includes anything from baked beans to dishes containing multiple meats. Each team must pay a $10 entry fee for each category they enter. For those not cooking that want to come and enjoy the barbecue and atmosphere, there is a $5 tasting fee.
StuCo is led by advisers Brenda Fishman and Hannah Pence. They have organized the Lancer-que with the help of senior committee chairs Tucker Styrkowicz and Kristen Shedor.
Shedor, Public Relations Co-chair, is in charge of advertising the event through fliers and word of mouth. StuCo hopes to bring in a large crowd of both students and community members, hopefully more than the 100 or so that attended last year.
In order to get the community more involved, Styrkowicz, Charity Committee Co-chair, and other StuCo members contacted local barbecue restaurants and stores that might be interested in sponsoring the Lancer-que.
“Last year… I think we just did it independently, but this year we’re trying to get the community more involved,” Styrkowicz said. “It’s a fundraiser that doesn’t go to East, it goes to the Christmas Bureau, so we’re trying to get teams that aren’t affiliated with East to come out.”
Some experienced barbecuing teams will return to the Lancer-que, but there will also be several rookie teams. The StuCo officers and representatives from each class are forming barbecue teams to compete in the Lancer-que.
The Senior officers and representatives formed a team named Smokin’ Seniors. Their team does not have any experience barbecuing, so they are taking a unique approach while also attempting to barbecue.
“The seniors wanted to go a different way and do dessert,” senior Abbie Symes said. “So we’re going to do banana boats and fruit kabobs.”
Banana boats are bananas cut open and filled with marshmallows, chocolate chips and any assortment of toppings. The bananas are then grilled so the inside melts into a fruity dessert. The senior team will also barbecue chicken to go with their desserts.
The Exec Board members also plan to represent StuCo at the Lancer-que. Their team name is unofficially The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. Senior Carolyn Welter has hopeful plans to dress up to go along with the team name.
“We want to dress up as pigs and make Jack [Kovarik] dress up as a wolf,” Welter said. “It’s also funny because pig is meat, it’s pork, so we’re cooking it.”
The Exec team plans to make a beef dish and potato salad or macaroni and cheese on the side.
One of the more experienced teams from the first Lancer-Que is Dr. Frankenswine, formed by senior Luke Fleming and his friends. They plan to step up their game this year. Last year Fleming and his team got to East at four in the morning to get their equipment set up and start cooking, but this year Fleming plans to camp out at East the night before.
Last year, Dr. Frankenswine barbecued 20 chicken thighs and a bacon explosion; this time Fleming plans to use a larger smoker that can fit two bacon explosions, 30 chicken thighs and five racks of ribs.
The bacon explosion is Dr. Frankenswine’s signature dish that they won first place in the “open” category for last year. Fleming found the recipe in a cook book and decided to try it out last year. The bacon explosion consists of one pound of bacon woven together, filled with a pound of Italian sausage, topped with one pound of crumbled bacon and barbecue seasoning, and all rolled up into a thick bundle of meat.
“You have this log of pork, then you smoke it, coat it with barbecue sauce, and cut it into delicious slices,” Fleming said.
The taste-testers at the competition loved the highly-anticipated bacon explosion and devoured it within two minutes. Fleming plans to cook the bacon explosion and chicken thighs the same way as last year, but spice their cooking up a little with baby back ribs.
Fleming will use what is called a 3-2-1 method to cook the baby back ribs. The 3-2-1 method gets its name from the number of hours each step takes. The ribs are smoked unwrapped in the smoker for three hours. Then wrapped in tinfoil for two hours, followed by one more hour uncovered in the smoker.
“That gets the juices sealed in and keeps it moist,” Fleming said. “And then you finish it off with a glaze which is a mixture of Kansas City Masterpiece Barbecue sauce and apple juice.”
Shedor was a member of Dr. Frankenswine as well as a band team cleverly named ‘BandBQ.’ Shedor’s new pet project this year is a home-made barbecue sauce.
“I think we’re going to work on a sauce called Awk Sauce, just a really awkward flavor combination, but really delicious,” Shedor said. “A weird tangy flavor, like a mango salsa with barbecue sauce would be perfect because it’s like an awkward moment.”
Between Awk Sauces and grilled bananas, the Lancer-que will offer a new take on the traditional Kansas City barbecue competition. For meat aficionados and community members who just enjoy good barbecue alike, the Lancer-que offers a festive environment and unique experience for students and the community.
Lancerque will take place this Sunday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at East. Anyone may attend; $5 tasting fee per person.