About the Great Maine BBQ Challenge

Thank you for visiting our website and for taking a closer look at our event! We would love to see you at Bass Park in Bangor Maine this September so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me directly by clicking here. The Great Maine BBQ Challenge has been a dream of mine for a long time and we’re excited to see so much enthusiasm from all over the country.

Now for a little background on the GMBC. In the fall of 1998, Frank Pendola (that’s me) and a few friends gathered to celebrate the harvesting of my garlic crop……garlic was baked, meat was smoked, “Garlic Festival” t-shirts were worn…… and the garlic festival was born. Just me and 15 friends having a good time on a Saturday night in my backyard. The following year, we decided to invite the public to our little backyard event. We cooked for 100 people and 350 people showed up for the event. Since then the garlic festival has grown into a gathering of numerous local restaurants, musicians, brewers and garlic growers, drawing more than 800 people to the event. Most importantly, the festival has raised thousands of dollars for local non-profit organizations. Throughout the years, I’ve been a vender at the Garlic festival towing in my Lang 60 reverse flow smoker, and serving up my, Hickory smoked pulled pork, My Lavender rubbed Mesquite smoked Beef Brisket, my hickory smoked baby back ribs and my cherry wood smoked Salmon. I always envisioned the campground where the Garlic festival is held filled with pit masters and their rigs from all over the country showing off, and talking about their art. BBQ is the one true American cuisine. There is a high school in my town. Every spring the high school has a career week where people of all occupations show up to talk with the kids about the career path they have chosen. My class is the most popular. It fills up the minute the class is posted. Not because I’m some great teacher, not because I’m beloved by all. Simply because the kids know that at the end of my class they will be eating ribs. At the beginning of the class, I ask the students, some questions. I approach it this way, we all know there is Italian food, and we all know Chinese, Asian, French and German food. I ask, what is American food? Every year it’s the same. They reply, Hamburgers and Hot dogs. Now I have them, because they cannot have ribs until I have my say on the only true American cuisine. BBQ! I love preparing BBQ, I love serving BBQ, and I love eating BBQ. Most important of all, I love to share BBQ. Because what is the point of loving something if you can’t share it. For me it’s not just about getting people happily full on great food. It’s also about communicating the Art of it, and the history behind it. That to me is what this whole KCBS thing is all about. Sharing what we love. BBQ. The success of the Garlic festival (19 years now) has given me the soil to plant the seed to have an event where people from all walks of life can come and share what they love as well, BBQ! This year will be my second KCBS Sanctioned event. I have two goals. Number 1 is to make sure the teams who compete in this event feel like we care about them. I want the teams, when all is said and done, as they drive down the road home to say. I’ll be back there next year. And. B). I want to be sure everyone who attended this event goes away with a new feeling about American cuisine, and the Art, Passion and the History behind it all.


Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS)

The Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbecue, is the world’s largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts with over 20,000 members worldwide.

KCBS sanctions over 450 barbecue contests world-wide.  From volunteering to actual event production, our members also offer assistance to civic and charitable organizations who organize events.

KCBS serves as a clearinghouse of barbecue information, which provides:

  • Networking with related trade associations and other contest-sanctioning organizations
  • Tracking trends in barbecue related products and equipment
  • Teaming up with other food organizations and the media to promote barbecue
  • With our library, and extensive archive of barbecue related articles, KCBS offers educational programs, consultation services, and civic organization presentations to help promote barbecue as America’s Favorite Cuisine

For more information, visit their website at www.kcbs.us


northeast Barbecue Society (NEBS)

Around 1991, the New England Barbecue Society for Wood Cookery was formed.  In 1994, the Wood Cookery Society became the New England Barbecue Society, a stable, fiscally responsible, not-for-profit group of dedicated BBQ cooks and consumers.  Along with their monthly print publication, “The National Barbecue News”, the NEBS was born to offer New England grillers the opportunity to learn Southern-style barbecue techniques, whether using wood, charcoal, or even gas.

In their website, and their monthly printed newsletter, “The National Barbecue News,” NEBS posts the results of their competitions, tips on cooking, book reviews, features about where to find it, whether it’s BBQ joints, equipment, that just-right secret ingredient, or notices on upcoming events.

For more information, visit their website at www.nebs.org