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Bodine Celebrates the 2006 Memphis in May BBQ Contest

People come to the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest for a taste of the world's best barbecue. The event is the largest outdoor cooking contest in the world.

So how would you describe the 2006 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest?
Pura Vida Market
View 2006 Photos
This year Bodine and our Cook Team, The Flying Saucers, call it Pura Vida. The term Pura Vida literally means "pure life". The all-encompassing term refers to love of life and is used as a positive descriptor for people, things and conditions. It has become the unofficial motto of Costa Rica, Memphis In May's honored country.

Known as the Super Bowl of Swine, the event attracts serious cook teams from across the nation, as well as a few from around the world. The contest lets participants show off their barbecue mastery in pork standards such as ribs, shoulders and whole hog. Bodine's Flying Saucers Cook Team competes in the prestigious and more competitive rib division. This year Bodine's Flying Saucers, led by primary cook Jerry McMichael, finished 35th of 109 teams in the rib category.

MIM barbecue aficionados also compete for prize money (and bragging rights) in contest categories other than pork. Bodine finished FIRST in a field of 90 teams in the hot wings competition with a recipe by our own Leticia Crockett. Angie Garcia's baked beans placed 17th place in a field of 63 teams. The Flying Saucers finished 21st of 89 teams with a salmon dish in the seafood competition.

Red Eye CafeFood is not the only draw for the MIM event. Each year Bodine's graphics department, Brad Van Frank, Clay Fowler and Mike Singleton, turn a "booth" into a full experience by designing and building a functional area reflecting Memphis In May's honored country. This year's booth, the Pura Vida Market, reflected an outdoor market popular in Costa Rica. The site included the Red Eye Café and the Arenal Lava Pit Smokehouse. As always, it was the crowd favorite. Bodine's Pura Vida Market took second place in the best booth competition. One look at the booth and you'll know why Bodine's booth is consistently a winner year after year.

Also consistently a winner is Bodine's team shirt designed by our own Bob Howe. The 2006 shirt design placed fourth. This year's bright green shirts were easily spotted among the thousands of people visiting the park.

Beyond the opportunity to cook and dine in a grillers' paradise along the Mississippi River, Bodine uses the event to say thank you to its employees, sales reps and customers. The company's annual employee picnic is held each Friday afternoon of the event. The company office and factory close early, and everyone heads for downtown Memphis' Tom Lee Park. This year was no exception. Company reps and customers are welcomed to the Bodine booth throughout the barbecue spectacular. They come to sample both Southern barbecue and Southern hospitality in a city steeped in rich culinary and musical traditions. Put simply.....

Pura Vida!

Thank you to everyone who worked to make this another successful year for Bodine at MIM. We look forward to 2007!

Click for Photos of our Week on the River.

For more information about the Memphis In May International Festival or the World Championship BBQ contest, visit