Local Caterer Offers Grilling Tips

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey
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July 3, 2006

"When you think of America, mom's apple pie, the barbecue is right in there. and what we try to do is kick it up a notch try to do stuff that's a little more adventurous than just grilling hot dogs and hamburgers," John Atkins said.

John Atkins, owner of "The Barbecue Connection" catering service in Charlottesville is already preparing for his holiday feast.
For John, barbecue isn't just a plate-filler, it's a passion.

"We won the Chesapeake Jubilee Grand Championship about a month ago, and we're going to Kansas City, MO for the national barbecue contest," John explained.

As Atkins' competition crew "Pigs On The Run" prepares to compete against 450 different teams, he is accompanied by his son, Bryant, in his enthusiasm for cooking.

"I like cooking because it's a lot of fun to experiment what you can make, what you can blend," Bryant said.

As John and his family prepare for the 4th, he offers some advice to those grilling. Stay in a well-ventilated area, avoid using fuel when cooking, and just use common sense. He hopes this will help keep barbecuing the same american tradition it's always been.

"It's nothing better than hearing the fireworks going off, having a belly full of 'cue, and smelling that smoke," John said.

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