Over the years the Santa Maria Elks Style BBQ has been featured in magazines and newspapers. In the past three years Lodge #1538 has been featured on television and seen internationally by millions of viewers. Many of these viewers are members of other Elks lodges across the US. It started with the Cooking Channel’s “Man Fire Food” hosted by Roger Mooking. This show highlighted the Santa Maria Elks, our style of BBQ and the Friday night Cook Your Own experience. The next show to feature our Santa Maria Elks style BBQ was the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods hosted by Andrew Zimmern. At first I was curious what was bizarre about our style of BBQ. I was there during the filming and I have seen the show. I concluded it wasn’t the food that was bizarre; it had to be the BBQ crew.
The latest show to feature our lodge is again hosted by Roger Mooking, the Cooking Channel’s “Man’s Best Food.” In this show Roger highlights a style of food and chooses the best 15 in the US for that type of food. He has done pork, seafood, hamburgers, BBQ and steaks so far this season. In the steak episode, the Santa Maria Elks style BBQ was #5 of the top 15 in the country, including Hawaii and Alaska. When you watch the show and see the quality of steaks that were #6 through #15, being #5 is really impressive. The recognition our lodge has received from these shows is a testament to the dedication of our Lodge to provide the best quality meals and keep the Santa Maria Elks style of BBQ traditional to its past. We do the same style BBQ today that our lodge has done since the first meal was served.
None of the accolades, television shows or magazine articles would be possible without the dedication of so many volunteers throughout the history of our lodge. You may at first think of the BBQ crew as the hero. That’s not the case. There is a long line of volunteers before, during and after the meal that make this happen. The BBQ crews are just a small part of a larger dedicated team that makes this possible. All these shows can be seen in reruns. I encourage everyone to look for the shows and tell your friends, neighbors and relatives to watch.