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Barefoot BBQ Wins People’s Choice

Posted on Jul 01, 2015

James Murphy, owner of Barefoot BBQ, with right-hand man Alexandru Borzac. “He does all the work, and I get all the credit,” Murphy laughs.

Barbecue fans were in for a feast at the ninth annual Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown, part of a May weekend of charity events.

The winner of the overall, perpetual trophy was Emeril Lagasse’s team, Emeril’s Diner. Barefoot BBQ owner James Murphy’s team, Up in Smoke, won the People’s Choice award for best ribs.

“I wanted to bring a 30A team to this event,” says Murphy. “We all just cooked one case of ribs, and were allowed to do whatever we wanted in a 24-hour period.”

While winning People’s Choice was thrilling, it was beating master of wood cooking Tim Byres, author of “Smoke: New Firewood Cooking,” that came as a pleasant surprise to Murphy. “He lives and breathes barbecue,” Murphy says of the Texas chef. “He’s an absolute barbecue stud. For one moment in time, I was better.”

Murphy says the team didn’t do anything differently than they do everyday at Barefoot BBQ. “We stayed true to our soul,” he says. “And the people spoke.”

Barefoot BBQ, celebrating its six-year anniversary, is the only Airstream Row eatery open until 2:30 a.m. “We opened on Earth day six years ago, which is a proud and appropriate coincidence given that we are hormone-, antibiotic- and steroid-free and organic with earth-friendly to-go packaging.”

The annual golf tournament at Burnt Pine Golf Club raised $70,000 for the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center while the fifth annual Sip-n-Shop raised $38,000 for Alaqua Animal Refuge, and the Throwdown brings the

total to more than $1.1 million, says fundraiser, co-founder and organizer Valerie Thompson.

Up in Smoke Team

Pat Roberts, Emeril’s Florida

George Barnes, 723 Whiskey Bravo

James Murphy, Barefoot BBQ

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