Student competes in local barbecue events

Junior Anthony Brown participates in barbecue events as a member of the "Burn Rate!" team


By Photo by Morgan Nelson

Preparing for his next competition, junior Anthony Brown seasons and smokes meat on Friday, Jan. 13.

Kat Anglemyer, JAG editor-in-chief

Competing at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue became a tradition for junior Anthony Brown and his uncle, Andy Olson, two of the members of the “Burn Rate!” team. Although they did not place as high in the October 2014 competition, “Burn Rate!” placed 12th in the baked beans category in October 2012.

“There are usually like 500 teams [at the American Royal] and you turn food into eight or nine different categories,” Olson said. “I think the best we’ve ever gotten was like 60th place for ribs, but the year that Anthony did the beans, we got like third place overall, which is the best score the team has ever gotten and it was on the beans that Anthony did totally by himself.”

The team drew on the strength of Brown, who started his cooking career off at a young age.

“I started barbecuing when I was about nine years old when my uncle started showing me how to cook food and smoke chicken and fish,” Brown said. “After that, my grandfather bought a smoker and ever since then, I’ve been smoking any kind of meat and beans. Then once I got into the ‘Burn Rate!’ team, they started teaching me how to use different meats and seasonings to make things taste a certain way.”

After learning how to smoke and prepare the meat, Brown became a member of the “Burn Rate!” team by learning from his uncle.

“I’ve got three kids and on the second day of the American Royal when we are cooking the competition meat, it’s always been a tradition for us to include all of our kids and let them help prepare,” Olson said. “Anthony came down once and saw my kids – his cousins – preparing, and so we let him jump in, too.”

Being around a family that cherished food helped Brown feel comfortable in a cooking environment, according to Olson.

“He’s my nephew, so he has come over to my house his whole life and has been tasting some of the barbecue we do at my house,” Olson said. “I think he always liked that, so I know he likes to cook. Then when we took him to the American Royal, there were a bunch of people hanging around and having fun and I think it was an environment that Anthony really likes.”

Brown enjoyed spending time with his team over a common bond.

“[I enjoy my team] because it’s fun to try new things and to hang out with a bunch of men that love to cook just like I do,” Brown said. “We’re a family. We have to stay with each other for a week cooking barbecue [for the American Royal]. Their families come up and visit on the weekends and it’s just a big family event.”

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