MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - When watching a baseball game at Riverwalk Stadium, it’s pretty normal to hear the term “batter up” ring through the stands, but on Saturday the common phrase was Burger Up.
As the Biscuits wait to the learn the fate of the 2020 season, the organization decided to give back to the Capital City, partnering with Bama-Q, a local television program that follows competition barbecuers around the state.
"Bama-Q really wanted to do a charitable event. We've done things with the Biscuits in the past," said Lisa Blackwell, host of Bama-Q TV. "In light of the coronavirus pandemic, and all the front line workers who are working so hard to take care of people, we decided we wanted to do something like this to raise money for them."
Three professional cooking teams - Deep South Sauce Company, Fat, Drunk and Stupid, and Sweet Cheeks Pit BBQ - had 45 minutes to create their burgers, all with different styles in mind.
And as the teams worked quickly to prepare their best dish, a panel of esteemed judges waited anxiously to try their mouthwatering meals.
Now Saturday’s competition was all fun and games, but these guys were some serious contenders.
"We typically cook barbecue. That's our mainstay," said Ron Stephenson of Fat, Drunk and Stupid. "We travel five, six different states a year and cook pro barbecue. I've been fortunate enough the last two years, I've gone with a good friend of ours to the World Food Championships, so we know a little bit about burger, but our thing is normally barbecue."
“This is my third year cooking in competitions,” said Morgan Cheek, owner of Sweet Cheeks Pit BBQ. “My second year cooking backyard, I got 4th place in the state of Alabama. Last year, I cooked backyard and I won the state of Alabama, and I got invited to Dallas, TX to cook in the burger challenge, and I was fortunate enough to win that also. It’s been pretty awesome. I’ve been very fortunate and it’s a lot of fun.”
Each burger was judged on taste, presentation and creativity. Just one point separated each burger, but it was Sweet Cheeks who emerged victorious. However, Morgan and his team were not the only winners.
The entire competition was yet another way to help the frontline continue the fight against COVID-19, as viewers watching the live stream were asked to make donations to the Biscuits Charitable Foundation.
For Billy Strickland and Deep South Sauce company, Saturday’s competition was just another way his guys could help the leaders of the community.
"Bruce, who's my business partner, he and I always try to cook for first responders and the police and fire departments, so we like to do things to help other people," he said. "It's sort of in our nature to do for others rather than to do for ourselves."
"Any time we can help out the community and showcase some great culinary talent, it's just great," added Lisa.
While this might not have been a World Championship, Morgan says Saturday’s victory was just a little bit sweeter.
"I'm glad that we can sit here and do something to help the communities and help people," he said. "Just have a little fun and cook and bring some happiness to what's going on."
The Biscuits are still waiting to begin the 2020 season.