Why I Joined the SCA

June 16, 2021

Two months out of college with zero knowledge about grills I started working at GrillGrate in the summer of 2019. Initially, I was the order processor. To ship orders, one must know what pieces create a set, what size box they go in, etc. I quickly became curious about what is a Weber Genesis or a PK 360. If I was going to be helping customers choose the right set for their grill, then I needed to know what grill takes what and what the heck I was talking about. My thorough study quickly coined me the name Grill Goddess. I am now responsible for managing GrillGrate’s Brand Pages.

I have always loved cooking. There is a real satisfaction for me when others enjoy what I have created for them. After I became the Grill Goddess, I soon got a grill. That level of enjoyment moved from the kitchen to my pit. Each weekend pushing myself further and further out of my comfort zone. At the time, GrillGrate was putting on Friday Night Steak Night. A club that promotes a sense of community knowing that we were all eating steaks at our family’s table.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brett and Ken, the founders of the Steak Cookoff Association, at an SCA event at the Ace Hardware Show. Gretchen (GG Operations Manager) and I became certified SCA judges and judged that competition. I started thinking “I could do this.” For nearly two years I allowed my fear to hold me back. But I kept hearing “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Flash forward to April of 2021 when we added a new retailer, Carolina BBQ & Grill. They are hosting their first SCA event on July 10th, 2021 and was adamant that a GrillGrate employee compete in their event. Gretchen signed me up. The GrillGrate mama pushed me out of the nest! I didn’t want to look like a fool, so I asked her to sign me up for an event in Glencoe, Alabama at the end of May. I went, I competed, and I came in 30th place… yikes. But I was hooked. The next day, we signed me up for two more: Hartselle, AL and Albertville, AL so I could have a little bit more practice before I went and competed as GrillGrate.

This is when I started my research. I was checking out guys like BamaGrillMaster (the great Tim Van Doren), Kosmos Q, and you bet it – talking to long-time GrillGrate buddy – Johnny Joseph. I went and competed at Hartselle and pulled a 6th place on my 2nd cook! Holy sh*t. Hook, line, and sinker baby. There was one week between Hartselle and Albertville. On the Thursday before Albertville, I took Matt Ouverson’s BBQ Champ Academy Steak Class. This class was highly recommended by Brad and many SCA guys. I went to Albertville and Johnny Joseph was there (!!!). Cooking beside my mentor meant the world to me. Getting 2nd place at my 3rd cook blew my mind (I’m just saying… Johnny got 3rd ?).

So, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? I sure hope you’d join the SCA. I’m glad I did

#grillgrate #scafamily #grillgoddess

– Emily