My name is Bob Bergeron and I am the sole owner of Maize-N-Que. Maize-N-Que was established in the summer of 2013. I started out by grilling at Michigan football games and in my back yard for my friends and family. After several parties and events, I was told that I have the best BBQ around and it was suggested that I should take it to the next level.
So, I decided to take a trip to the heartland of the BBQ mecca and visited Kansas City. There, I met with a good friend (Matthew Young) who showed me what it takes to create some real quality BBQ. Matt and I hopped in the truck, loaded up the smoker, stopped at the meat market and headed to the KCBS sanctioned Lenexa BBQ competition*….and that's where I fell in love. THAT is when I learned the difference between grilling and real barbeque. At that moment, I decided that I would never grill again. Learning about smoking, real barbeque, all the different cuts of meats, how to trim and prepare, what rubs to use and when to use them was absolutely amazing. I also learned that the food is done, when it’s done. That, my friends, is the real key to BBQ! There is no real time frame when you're cooking low and slow. At lower temperatures for a significant period of time, the fat breaks down into gelatin and adds a little flavor and tenderness.
When I arrived back home from my trip to Kansas City, I started looking for smokers. I purchased a starter smoker and used it at least 3-4 days a week for 4 months. I was ready to step up my game. I went out and purchased a few bullet smokers (WSM) and started barbecuing like a professional. In September 2013, I entered my first KCBS sanctioned professional BBQ competition... which was a big one at that - The Michigan State Championship BBQ cook-off! For my first professional event, I placed 19th overall (out of 50) and was called to the stage for placing 5th in my pulled pork! It was an unbelievable feeling walking to that stage... some teams had been competing for years and had never finished better than half, let alone experienced walking to the stage. Needless to say, it was a very proud moment and the beginning of Maize-N-Que!!
As for the name Maize-N-Que, what can I say…? I'm a huge fan of the Michigan Wolverines and what a better name for the Maize and Blue than Maize-N-Que!
*KCBS sanctioned BBQ competitions are competing in four meat categories (chicken, ribs, pork and brisket). Each category is judged by 6 judges and they score on appearance, taste and tenderness.