Hi - My name is Wade and I live in Kent in the UK.
I have been hooked on real BBQ for about 20 years - since the time that my (then) job took me reqularly to the USA. I paid just under $49 (about £30) for my first 22.5" Weber - shows how long ago it was - and I was also allowed to bring it back as hand luggage on the plane! That one was still in reqular use until it finally died in June last year, although its younger siblings are still going strong.
I have imported a couple of offset smokers over the years (New Braunfels and Klose) however am currently happy with my own stainless steel (locally commissioned) creation. Unfortunately it is quite big and not too portable but it was a good prototype and is easily adjustable to give me perfect cooking temperatures.
I have never really got into competition BBQ to date as I have never managed to be in the US at the right times and the UK competition circuit is very small and very cliquey. Maybe that will change over time - however BBQ is not all about competition it is also about having fun cooking great food for family and friends.
Over the past 4 years I have become very involved in cold smoking (fish, meat, cheese etc.) and have a variety of prototype smokers dotted around the garden. I am currently building a larger thermostatically controlled one that I am hoping to use semi-commercially to keep me active when I eventually retire. I am also just venturing into the world of air dried smoked sausage (Salami and Chorizo) and have so far succeeded in not giving anyone food poisoning . HACCP trained so there would no excuses LOL.
If anyone in the Kent area (or beyond) wants to get in contact directly then please feel free to do so and I hope that I will be able to contribute regularly in the forum.