(Seguin) -- Seguin can no doubt cook with the best of them. That's all in large part to the growing reputation of 15-year-old Ty Machado who continues to unleash his talents on the grill as one of the best and youngest pit masters around. In fact, a series of good fortunes has continued following his appearance last year on the Food Network's Kids BBQ Championship.
Although he was not the top winner, Ty, a freshman at Navarro High School, says the TV show made way for a whole new experience in the world of barbecue competition.
"We've got a lot of sponsorship, a lot of exposure and we've got to meet a lot of new people. We've got a lot of invitations to barbecue cook-offs and other events," said Ty.
The young man's sidekick, who also happens to be his father, Joey Machado, says the opportunities in the world of barbecuing have definitely opened up for his son -- giving him an even greater platform to do what he loves.
"Not only locally or here in Texas but a lot of stuff nationally -- we were fortunate enough last year to be able to go to St. Louis to go cook with some friends of ours whose son was also on the show -- Jacob Scott (and) whose mom is Leslie Roark Scott. She's been on several Chopped Shows. We bonded a really good relationship while Ty and Jacob bonded really well and since we had that experience with them in St. Louis where they invited us down, they have now invited us to
several different things that they do during the year. We'll be going to New York this year. We'll be going to Chicago this year. We'll be going to Florida. I mean there's just a ton of stuff. We are supposed to be going to Memphis in May and then also with the associations we have with our sponsors which are like B&B Charcoal -- they are here in Texas. They are in Weimer. I've been doing a lot of work with them kind of on the side type of deal and I think we are going to wind up creating a stronger relationship with them but now, they have us going to trade shows and doing a lot more stuff with the company," said Joey.
Joey says among the latest opportunities is being a regular contributor to "The National Barbecue News." The publication is dubbed, "The world's number one publication dedicated to all things barbecue."
"We have the opportunity with a gentleman named Kell Phelps who runs the National Barbecue News -- they are actually based out of Georgia --me being who I am, dad -- I'm always out there trying to get him the most exposure possible because that's the only way that we are going to be able to grow. So he was kind enough to do the article on Ty originally -- to meet the 14-year-old pit master -- kind of tell his story on more of a national level. The story was really well received across the board and after that, he asked if Ty would be interested in doing a monthly (recipe). It's going to be a recipe but it's also going to be a small editorial so he can kind of give them (sort of) what's going on in his little field but then also he's going to be throwing recipes out there every month to try to get a different flare. So it's going to be a real neat experience for him," said Joey.
More importantly, Joey says Ty will get to share his favorite original recipes with others.
"Originally when he did the Kids BBQ Championship, he had to come up with about 65 recipes which were
65 original recipes to him and he had to learn how to cook them all so this is kind of a cool little avenue because he's being able to put all of those recipes out there. So he's kind of going through his recipe book and putting everything out there so everyone's going to get a little taste of what he actually did for the show as we go on," said Joey.
As for Ty, he says he can't wait to get started.
"The recipes have to be barbecue related but it's kind of just whatever you prefer. I think it's going to be great because like people -- if they've seen me on TV -- and they are like, 'oh, that recipe is cool' and they want to try it, they can go out and look for it and find it pretty easy," said Ty.
Ty will also be among the celebrities that have been invited to participate in the famed National BBQ Association (NBBQA ) BBQ Bash. Joey says the cook-off is set for April 1st in Fort Worth and will feature some of the biggest names in BBQ cooking. He says Ty will not only be the youngest but will also be one of only two Texan celebrities to be featured.
"The competition is -- they bring in sixteen celebrity teams. They put cooks together and then they are going to have attendees of this conference -- they'll have drawings and one of the attendees will get to participate with one of the teams. So it's kind of cool. It's going to be at Billy Bobs at Fort Worth. There's actually a conference that goes on all week long and then on that Saturday is what they call the "BBQ Bash," said Joey.
Competing in the various competitions, however, can sometimes prove a bit more challenging simply because of Ty's age. Joey says while there are some restrictions at specific events, he knows that his son's participation in the various cook-offs is blazing the way for other young men and women to also one day compete. In the meantime, he says the Machados will continue to make cook-offs a family affair with Ty being the "unofficial" head cook for Guadalupe BBQ Co.
"I actually have to sign-up for the cook-off. I have to be the head cook but everyone knows he's cooking so when it comes to award time, if we get a check or if we get an award whatever, he can go with me, but I physically have to take it. It's just a bunch of stuff with UIL and a whole lot of other things but things are being changed but the good thing is we park right next
to other teams who are physically seeing him out there. He's actually doing the work. He's got the knowledge. Prior to us doing a lot of the sanction cooks, he would do it all by himself -- 100 percent no doubt. Now like I said, it's become more of a team effort. There's responsibilities that I do. There's some responsibilities that he does. But most people have to understand that barbecue teams are actually teams. There are usually more than four people in a team. In our situation, it is usually just
me and him. We have our family who comes in to help us. Our daughter, Taya, who is our box runner and she's got a good friend Kylee (Emerson) that she goes to school with and then of course, we have his mom, my wife Michelle who is kind of the coordinator and she makes sure that everything is clean and out of our way because it gets pretty hectic around turn in times," said Joey.
Despite the challenges of competing with the big guys, Ty says he is always ready to go neck and neck with the competition.
"It makes me food good and it makes me feel competitive because adults, they don't think that a kid can cook. They don't think they can win. So to go out and show them that I can win and I can show them up, it makes them mad first of all but it feels really good," said Ty.
In between it all, Ty is also expected to be a regular guest for a San Antonio TV morning program sharing some of those same recipes that can be found that particular month on BBQ News. His first feature is scheduled to come out later this month. It will also be available online at www.barbecuenews.com