In the early 1990’s I followed my brother Les to cookoffs in the central Illinois area and decided to give it a try. A few friends and I started cooking and after our first “call” we were hooked. Later, my other brother Don started competing and the three of us brothers traveled all over the country for several years competing in cookoffs and making friends. At one point, all three of us qualified for the ICS WCCC finals. I’ve also had the opportunity to chair probably 50 cookoffs over the years and while they are a lot of work, it is rewarding to be able to send other cooks on to the world championships. It’s my way of paying back. Finally, I have been competing for over 30 years and I’ve competed in some capacity in a lot of ICS finals, but I had never won before, so I was shocked and humbled. What an experience!