The culmination of a years hard work came down to the $20,000 pay-off yesterday in Meridian Texas at the 2011 National Championship Barbecue Cookoff. We rolled up there with high hopes for a full day of championship calibre eating and camaraderie and our visit did not disappoint.

As the week goes by we'll be putting up some pictures and ephemera from the event but for now here's a list of the winners and a note to barbecue lovers: we go to a lot of these cook offs and while all are a good time there are certain ones that shine like stars in the Texas sky.

This is one of the premiere Texas food parties and is not to be missed. Put it on your calendar for next year. The food and hospitality are top flight. Congratulations y'all.

Grand Champion: Amber King

Reserve Champion: Anthony Hernandez

Brisket

1. Anthony Hernandez, Los Primos BBQ

2. Lind Kola, Smokin K Ranch

3. Michell Wade, Nothin' Fancy

Pork Spare Ribs

1. Brad Caraway, Pit Rassler

2. David Reed, Bonkers BBQ

3. Micky Perkins, Fired up & Smokin

Top 5 points

Amber King

Anthony Hernandez

Brad Carraway

Danny Helms

Linda Kola