This month lets get to know one of the top teams in America that happens to also kick some butt in the RMBBQA. We go under the tent with David Qualls and The American Dream BBQ Team.
How did you come up with the name American Dream? Who is all on your team?
Our team consists of myself, my wife Christine, and our neighbor Conner Patton (when he’s not at school).
I’ve been friends with World Champions and Hall of Fame Professional Wrestler, Dusty Rhodes and when we were talking about a team, I told him I was going to name it The American Dream BBQ Team. He thought that was cool as told us to use his character and he wanted to be a part of it some way.
What do you like to do when you’re not BBQ’n?
I’m a partner in a casino management company, Own a concert sound production company and am developing a housing addition so BBQ is my escape from reality. When were not out on the trail, I like to hang around the house or visit some shows that the sound company produces.
Tell us a little about your equipment what kind of smoker do you use? What is your favorite “gadget” item you like to use when BBQing?
Were using a custom painted Jambo J5 we call “The Dream Maker”. I can’t think of any particular gadget at the moment.
What BBQ accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
Wow, That’s a hard question this year. I guess we are having a once in a career season. We have qualified for every special invitational available to teams. That being The American Royal Invitational, Being a 7 time winner that automatically qualified us for the Jack Daniels, Being invited to the inaugural Colorado Rockies Invitational as 1 of 24 teams, and winning our way to the Sam’s Club Nationals, and being recognized as one of the best teams in the nation by being invited to the King of the Smoker to compete and help raise money for the Casey Ball Foundation. And of course being a top 10 team in 4 categories in KCBS at the moment.
What BBQ contest is your favorite and why?
We have cooked in almost 100 contests in our three years from Nevada to Florida and Minnesota to Louisiana. It’s hard to pick one. I have the most fun in the Hammond, Louisana contest because of the extra-curricular activities of the Cajun Hospitality and cusisne. We’ve made a lot of friends down there.
Did you have any BBQ goals for 2014, if so what are they?
As great as this year has been, our only goal was to get a call at one of The American Royal contests. We got three!
Who or what has influenced how you BBQ the most and how have they influenced you specifically?
It’s hard to zero in on the “Who” because we’ve taken 4 classes in the last three years and networked with many cooks who have taken us under their wing. Shigged a lot of You Tube Video, (including yours!) and read many Internet Threads to get where we are. I think two important things that stick to mind is David Bouska of Butcher BBQ always reminds me that I have to be a pitmaster first, and Darren Warth of Iowa’s Smokey D’s always tells me I have to learn to cook it first before profiles and meat selection. Not to mention Tons of encouragement and compliments from Teams like Smokers Wild, and Little Pig Town (Our Running Buddies), Clark Crew, Butcher, LottaBull, Buffalo’s, Big Poppa, Johnny Trigg, 4 legs Up, JP Customsmoke, Dr. Nordy, and Whiskey Pit to name a few. I look up to all of these guys!
What is one thing you learned through the school of hard knocks that wish you knew when you first got started?
Concentrate on cooking the product until you can’t do it wrong. (credit Vince with Rythm ‘N Que) and not be so focused on the latest rub, sauce, or tweak in the box to wow the Judges.
If you could only BBQ or eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
I guess it would be Brisket. I’d be like Bubba on Forrest Gump, I could come up with 100 ways to serve it!
What is your Favorite Non BBQ restaurant and what do you like to get there?
Benton’s Cafe in Shawnee, OK Chicken Fried Steak and homemade Pies!
Wildcard is there anything you would like the readers to know about you, your team or BBQ in general that was not asked?
Chris and I are so thankful for the friends and opportunities that that we have acquired because of this family adventure. We are honored that you chose to have us do this article and we look forward to many more weekends of fun filled BBQ adventures.
We are especially grateful to Stephan Franklin of Simply Marvelous for his confidence and support by being a Brand Ambassador of his products and our affiliated association with Sterling Ball Big Poppa Smokers through Simply Marvelous.
Thanks for the time David and Good Luck the rest of the year.