My name is Morgan Cheek and my team is Sweet Cheeks Pit BBQ. This is my fourth year cooking competition BBQ. I started as a Backyard Cook and enjoyed it so much, I went Pro in 2020. Back in 2019, I competed at the World Food Championship and won the Burger category. Winning ‘best burger in the world’ while cooking against some of the best chefs in the world was very humbling and amazing. In 2019 I also started competing in the SCA steak competitions and fell in love with it. I was fortunate to be in the top 10 in my first steak competition. I find it very challenging to meet the requirements for tenderness and doneness. I thoroughly enjoy cooking the best food that I can and watching people savor all the effort and love I put into it. The best thing about competing, hands-down, is the people I meet and the way they quickly become family.
Ron Stephens & Laddy Ratliff
Ron Stephens and Laddy Ratliff, based out of Huntsville, AL, are a part of the successful BBQ Team Fat, Drunk and Stupid. They have been competing on the Kansas City BBQ Society circuit for the last 12 years where they have won Grand Championships in several states. But, they cook a lot more than award winning BBQ. They are both avid outdoorsman during the winter months and travel extensively hunting deer, elk, ducks, wild hogs and black bear. They are well known in outdoors circles for preparing and cooking wild game.
Their cooking abilities don’t stop there. They have both had success competing in events hosted by the SCA (Steak Cookoff Association) and the WFC (World Food Championships). In 2018, Ron was a part of the team that finished 2nd overall in the World Burger Championships and then in 2019 finished 5th overall in burger. Laddy has also been a part of a team that finished 5th in the world in BBQ at the World Food Championships. They are also certified judges for both the SCA and WFC.
I’m Russ Allen of REDBONES BBQ. I’ve been cooking competitions since April of 2018. That first year my team cooked 16 contests and finished up with a 5th place in the Alabama Barbeque Association Team of the Year points. I joined Bama-Q in 2019 and appeared in Season 3. I competed in 22 contests including 4 or 5 SCA events. I finished 4th in the ABA TOY points race and also won a first-place steak finish in Decatur, AL at Riverfest. By winning that, I earned my golden ticket to the World Food Championships in Dallas, TX. In 2020 I appeared in Season 4 of Bama-Q. Even with the COVID pandemic we managed to cook in 13 BBQ contests and 7 or 8 SCA events. With contests cancelling all over the state of Alabama, we had to travel a little more than we were accustomed to. We travelled to Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Kansas and Georgia, where we won our first Grand Championship. We earned enough points in the KCBS Team of the Year points race to be honored with a first place in chicken and 8th place in ribs in the world for 2020. We cooked in the KCBS World Invitational BBQ Contest in Kansas and were awarded Team of the Year. We also finished up in 4th place again in the 2020 ABA TOY points race. It’s been a heck of a ride and I enjoyed every minute of it. This is the only hobby I know of where your fellow competitors are also your family. I’ve made friends all over the country that will last a lifetime.
My name is Rob Nelson and I’m very passionate and competitive. My team, Beer Pressure Steak and BBQ, always strives to turn in the very best meat at every competition. I’ve loved cooking and competing my whole life. As a child, I attended after-school cooking classes. That desire to cook the very best tasting food is still with me today. I loved watching BBQ Pitmasters on TV. The show inspired me to compete in an organized event. I searched YouTube and watched videos of many different cook teams. Then I found out about Steak competitions and the SCA. After spending a number of hours watching steak competitions, I decided to give it a shot. I knew I cooked a good steak but I didn’t know if I could cook one and win. I signed up for a couple of contests and got my name called right away. Then I competed in the Kentucky State Championship Competition in Glasgow in 2019. I competed against the best of the best in the steak world, finished in 2nd place and won a big trophy for big money. Even better than that…I made friends with some heavy hitters in the steak game. The SCA family is made up of wonderful people. I’ve had some amazing moments in the steak world and I’m continuing my quest to be the best I can be. I’m looking forward to cooking in more episodes with the Bama-Q TV family. May the future bring us all success and fellowship!
NEWS / EVENTS
COOKING WITH BAMA-Q
Robert Vanderipe and Lex Vanegas
Smoke Me Silly BBQ team consists of husband and wife, Robert Vanderipe and Lex Vanegas, based out if Madison, AL. Robertand Lex have been competing in KCBS competitions since
March 2012 and have competed in more than 250 contests inover 15 states and they represented the USA in the 2015 World
BBQ Association Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden. Sincethe start, Smoke Me Silly has won 41 Grand Championships and 39 Reserve Grand Champions earning multple first places in all categories. Smoke Me Silly became a World Champion in 2014 when they won the ribs category at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in 2014. Smoke Me Silly has obtained 40 700+ overall scores, earned 34 180’s (perfect scores) in all categories, and has been the Grand Champion/Team of the Year in the Alabama BBQ Association 5 years in a row.