For Phil Cummings, Iowa Farm Bureau Cook Off State Fair Barbeque Grand Champion, barbecuing is a family affair.
His wife, his daughter and he all won first place in various categories at this year's Iowa State Fair.
“I started barbecuing when I was a little boy with my dad. Fire and meat… what could be better.” Cummings started a catering business after he started competing in contests and now has a food truck that he opens near Center Point, Iowa.
Nancy Degner, Executive Director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council, says Cummings isn’t the only Iowan who’s gotten into competing in food contests during the last decade. She says the food contest circuit has really grown in the state and in the Midwest in the last few years. “It started in the south, and it moved up here. We started the first grilling competitions in Iowa to highlight the meat production we have going on here.”