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Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories

Oct 20, 2017

Tom & Tamara Murphy, Team WGW - Weber Grills Win, Spring Valley, CA #PrayForVegas




Ole Hickory Pits:

Grill Grates:

Weber Grills:

Del Mar BBQ Championship Facebook Event:

Spring Valley Tailgate & BBQ Festival:

Upcoming BBQ Events and Competitions:

Thank you to Jet West Band for our epic Intro Jingle!

Jet West:

Pray For Las Vegas:

Route 91:

GRAPHIC Video from Route 91 Shooting:


Tom & Tamara Murphy, Team WGW - Weber Grills Win #SVBBQFest 

Shout out to Abbie for being a bad ass! 

Abbie Writes:

A few SVBBQFest complications have come up and the team is now trying to figure out how to fix them before November 5th!

Derek explains this might be the hardest #SVBBQFest to set up to date

Shoutout to MeatandMetal on twitter for being a bad ass from Norway, True long time listener.

Meat and Metal:

People can reach out to us, don’t be shy, we love to help with anything digital marketing

Tom of WGW is great friends with Fern’s Semifamous BBQ

Fern's BBQ:

Back in the day, Team WGW found the Cali Comfort website - then learned that they were throwing #svbbqfest 

Cali Comfort BBQ:

WGW = white girl wasted (getting stupid drunk)

WGW Team started out 3 people

WGW ended up winning Grand Champion as their first year competing

Team WGW smoked on Weber grills and a kettle gas grill but ended up winning grand champion

WGW got his daughter Courtney involved when she turned 20

Tom explains that he wanted a new name for WGW but couldn’t rebrand since people already knew who WGW was

Weber Grills Win name changed but WGW brand has stayed the same - marketing reasons

Tom won first place in chicken - he cooks his chicken thighs and legs - loves dark meat - has been cooking chicken for 20 years, Tom is a sauce guy who likes a nice glaze of sweet sauce, applies sauce 10 min before it’s done

Tom was nervous as hell during his first competition when being judged but after Tom won First place Chicken he wasn’t so nervous after

A year after winning, Tom let his partners run the show more, and took first in BBQ Chicken - it's done his way only

Team separated after the second year of #SVBBQFest , then brought on his daughter Courtney and nephew, then won that 3rd year!

Tri Tip is an amazing meat when done right!

WGW failed at cooking tri tips - only had done 2 previously before their first comp, and didn’t do so well the first two years but is now focusing on getting first place!

We are very grateful for the teams who do PC, events can’t be held if teams don’t participate in PC

WGW has friends who are doing #SVBBQFest2017 for the first time this year

WGW doing chicken for peoples choice! Don’t miss out

WGW daughter Courtney has such a great attitude every time Shawn would interact with her, Tom explains that she used to be shy and intimidated but then she learned to be uncomfortable by putting herself out there to engage with the people attending SVBBQFest  - flash forward and now she is killing it and is comfortable being outgoing

Pro Tip for successful competitions are CHECKLISTS

Tom explains that Checklists have made competition days much easier for WGW, a written checklist on his Samsung Galaxy 5 on a notepad

Checklists are great because you can use year over year, can check things off

Cali Comfort uses Google Docs for a lot of projects

WGW used kale for their garnish the first time and Gene said "No, you can’t use that" - WGW had to scramble to grab lettuce instead

FERN’S BBQ - going all in on BBQ , making a business out of his bbq

WGW and Fern's BBQ have compete and been BBQ rivals, now are great friends

BBQ brings people together and makes friends

Derek isn’t a huge tailgater, Shawn is a huge tailgater, tailgating is in Shawn's blood

"Tailgating is much like bbq" - Shawn

Events that Cali Comfort does is a lot like tailgating

Derek never had time to tailgate “because he was busy playing (football)”

WGW has work buddies who talk BBQ non-stop

WGW doesn’t have an Instagram account but is going to have to set one up - UPDATE: WGW HAS AN INSTAGRAM:

Fern’s BBQ needs to get a Facebook ASAP

WGW is a "tri tip whore" now - does a reverse sear - likes to cook it differently sometimes, cooks like a steak or a roast, smokes it, different rubs or seasonings, sauce or no sauce, can do anything with the meat,

Tri Tip is the most underutilized piece of meat, Derek swears by it 

We now turn to Tamara to discuss the recent Las Vegas incident (terrorist attack) at Mandalay Bay

Operation BBQ - NBBQA - in santa rosa:

Operation BBQ Relief FB:

We all have a special place in our hearts for Las Vegas


Fern came into check on something at Cali Comfort and asked if Shawn had talked to Tom from WGW - something had happened... but wasn't specific

Tom talked to Fern the Day after the shooting

When the news drops to Tom:

Tom was watching something on tv, the phone rings 1045pm - voicemail of his wife sounding extremely scared calling from unknown number - terror in her voice on the phone, took a second to realize it was his wife, she was ok, lost her friends lost her phone but not to worry b/c she is alive, will get back asap

Tom tried to call Tamara back but she had hardly any service and they couldn’t hear each other, Tom wasn’t panicked but it was too soon to even set in.

Al he knew was is there was a shooting but she was OK, wasn’t too worried yet, had no idea of scope of incident yet

Tamara she used a strangers phone, got separated from group, had to go to the bathroom and left her phone with group

Tamara explains she is a HUGE COUNTRY FAN, loves the experience - loves country -- the weekend was supposed to be FUN

It was her second year going to Route 91, just her and her friend Lisa from SD who enjoys gambling and gets her rooms comped frequently

Up until the shooting, Tamara had a blast at Route 91, met a lot of people and made new friends, everyones there to just have a good time

Jason Aldean was on stage and then Tamara went to the bathroom, as she was walking up she heard the first shots, Tamara thought WTF is that, fireworks? She keeps going to the bathroom, and thats when the shots started firing, she still had no idea what was happening, thought it was just something else like crazy pyro 

As they were in the VIP section, there were trailer style bathrooms with stalls and sinks, NOT port o potties like in General Admission area

Tamara was in the bathroom with two cleaning ladies who kept yelling "SHOOTING SHOOTING SHOOTING!!"

It was just them 3 in the bathroom during the madness

Not knowing the situation, Tamara thought the guy could be on foot, she blocked the door and just sat there and prayed - all she did was pray and hope her family was ok - could only hear the noises but couldn’t Tell what was really happening - just pure confusion all around

She stayed in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes - felt like hours - she felt safe when someone opened the door and instructed them to get out, venue had been pretty empty by this point

Tamara came out of the bathroom, didn’t know where to go and all she saw were bodies on the ground injured and some dead

She just sat by the stairs by the bathroom she was in, she was stunned - had no idea where to go or what to do, someone came up to her and told her to keep going, people were screaming, "does anyone need help?!" people were trying to help others

Tamara says she had a regret, asks herself "what was she doing?" "why wasn’t she helping people?"

Derek explains "you can’t just think that way, you don’t know what is going on, you have to think about yourself sometimes in situations like that" 

Something big to note is that there were A lot of good people who were helping out and risking their lives for others

Tamara remembers comforting someone by holding their hand and she did everything she could do at that moment, can't regret or look back.

10 - 15 minutes felt like an eternity for Tamara - (in the bathroom) there were no windows, couldn’t tell what was happening!

Tamara reflects "I Came to Vegas to be FREE and get away from her kids - have fun, then the shooting happened and all she wanted was to go home and just see her Tom and the kids

She ended up wandering around Vegas, she had no idea where to go or what to do, a security guard took her and ran her towards the exit, said "follow these people," as people were running “TOWARDS THE TROPICANA”

Tamara ended up going to the Tropicana and used someone's phone there, she says there were so many good people there at Tropicana, everyone came together so closely and they took her in and would not let her be alone. Comforting feeling.

Tamara tells us about a woman who was with her in the Tropicana, this lady's daughter had been shot in foot, who is now OK, and she was on the way to the hospital, but the Tropicana was on complete lock down so she couldn't leave and she was living a nightmare but was so selfless as she then lent her cell phone to Tamara to call Tom

It's imperative to focus on the positives in shitty situations like this one

After the incident, Tamara still had the numbers of all the people who helped and let her borrow their phone. She has since reached out to let them know she was OK, and made a bunch of lifelong friends in doing so. #FocusOnThePositives

Tom still has the voicemail from Tamara - won't delete

Tom's Side of The Story:

After the news broke, Tom was Texting back and forth with Tamara but on then saw on the news as the shooting was released, only a couple people reported dead

Tom kept watching the news, and at 11pm it became BREAKING NEWS, he then began switching to all the news channels to hear the story

At first only 2 people lost and 22 injured

Then it became 50 dead and 500 injured

Tom who knows guns very well, said he was showed a clip of the actual act of guy firing his guns, saying "thats full automatic," the news said the shooter wasn’t dead yet, not confirmed. THEN his son wakes up at 1am and sits on the couch, Tom thought GREAT, just what my young kid needs to see...

Next, Courtney, Tom & Tamara's oldest daughter had heard about it and was frantically texting Tom and asking if Tamara (mom) was OK

LISA, Tamara's friend who was there and had been separated and was alone, she witnessed it the shooting, saw a girl get shot 4 times in the chest, had met people there who shielded her, VIP section was raised and went out on the Luxor side, they were all put in the theatre, “THERES MULTIPLE SHOOTERS” she ran again and was on the phone with her brother who is a police officer, who told her to go to a place off the strip to stay there, somehow remembered her phone number, tamara remembered Lisa’s # and couldn’t leave to meat her because of lock down, didn’t get to her until 6am.. staying at Mandalay Bay on the 33th floor

Interesting story, a week after the shooting (around Oct. 9) Lisa came over for BBQ this was the first time she had left her house in a week, at the dinner, they were talking about everything outside, Lisa (who goes to vegas a lot and spends a lot there), said that the room they were going to have at Mandalay Bay was located on the 32nd floor, a two room suite with a view that overlooks the (ROUTE 91) festival grounds, THEN on Friday when they arrived to Mandalay Bay, the employee said "Sorry but the room is now booked because we had a High Roller who has come into town and took that room instead" (THE SHOOTER) Tamara explains that at the time they didn’t mind being relocated to a different room

Tamara and Lisa got back to SD on Monday, flight was only delayed 15 min.

Tamara says her and Lisa were walking around 6am and decided "lets go try and sleep"

Tamara gets word that guests are being allowed back into their rooms at Mandalay at 9am - they got a driver from the Palace, roads were closed, then went from Excalibur to Luxor , into Mandalay Bay,

Tamara explains upon walking back into the Mandalay Bay, the hotel was very creepy, only a few people were gambling (wtf), they immediately took showers and got the hell out of there

You saw mandalay bay on FB, on social media , easy way to push out information about the business,

social media can help in a time of need, important info was found on social media about the situation

had no idea the situation at 9am and just wanted to get out of vegas

gets home in san diego - her brother was there at the airport, was o freaked out he was gonna drive to vegas, just wanted to see tamara just broke down and hugged her for a long time

Tom couldn’t sleep and there was no comfort until she was home, tom relaxed much more when tamara was home and safe, let everyone know.

Aftereffects - Tom was fine just knowing his wife had survived, feels for the 58 others who couldn’t say that

Another thing about social media - some guy was keeping people updated because of social media and helping the group


Shawn always has his phone - always can get a hold of him, no matter what

Shawn felt very emotional when hearing the news from Fern

WGW has become a part of the BBQ family here

The way BBQ works is "you have to give, its all about giving, the more we can give back through events, helping anybody we can"

In the bbq industry, you’re allowed to be who you are, you can compete and be serious, but also its a truly friendly competition,

Type A personalities who feel that they can do everything themselves

Surrounding yourself with the right people, having a good circle, its ok to ask for help, Derek is learning that he can’t do everything himself, has no weird feelings about asking for help

The circle of people around you has to be brutally honest 

It can be hard to receive criticism, Derek explains how he golfs with two amazing golfers, isn't great but he is much better because he listens to their advice.

Derek saw two things in Shawn's golf swing and then Shawn fixed his swing and hit a super clean drive - he was receptive to Derek's advice


It's a real pain in the ass to vend - Derek and Shawn both say no to vending,

"unless you pay in advance for 100 plates - guaranteed money talks"

Shawn admits that some vending opportunities have led to better opportunities, and when you vend, you can say that at least you tried..

Courtney is in the next generation of bbq pit masters - Tom loves when he is working and sees Courtney cook his recipes the best way, she’s on top of it without any of Tom's guidance and has a true passion for it

Teams at #svbbqfest:

San Diego Gulls team


Some teams from #betonbbq

Some podcast heavyweights: coops bbq, smok'd hog, brazen bbq

Valley Farm Market 2017 OTL world champs


We want to thank Tom and Tamara for sharing such a tragic story - Tamara admits that talking about it here "kind of helped to talk about it"

We are grateful to be able to do this podcast and share the story

Come out support WGW at #SVBBQFest

Team WGW: Weber Grills Win

We are raising money for OIT: Organizations in Training

We are getting WGW signed up on Instagram! (UPDATE: This has happened)

Branding advice: Brand and plan for the long-term

KCBS event? next on Tom's list, been a tough year, Tom is putting 2017 in the past, says 2018 will be a great year - might compete in del mar 2018 #betonbbq

Tom says he is very happy with his pork butt and brisket

Thanks to all our listeners. keep being social

Always tag us in all your posts!

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