Famous Dave Anderson visits Washington for Operation Barbecue Relief

By WEEK Reporter

November 22, 2013 Updated Nov 23, 2013 at 12:13 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- Tons of meat, heat and heart were the main ingredients for Operation BBQ Relief. Dozens of barbecue enthusiasts came from all over the nation to help Sunday's tornado survivors.

"We're all competitors in the barbecue world, but when disaster strikes we all come out and cook barbecue, and feed the victims and the workers food," said Dennis Truckenbrod, Operation BBQ Relief member. "Pork loins, ribs, chicken...we cook that and serve it to the people."

In times of disaster, they drop everything to help those who need it.

"You call for help and the barbecue world comes together," said Truckenbrod. "They stop everything they do, they take time off of work and they come and help the victims."

For some members of the relief team, it is their fifth time coming together for a natural disaster. They have had relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina, the Moore, Oklahoma and Joplin, Missouri tornadoes and more.

"Barbecue enthusiasts said, 'You know, we need to do something.' So they loaded their equipment. They went to Joplin, and they started Operation BBQ relief," said Truckenbrod.

Friday, Dave Anderson, owner of Famous Dave's--a popular restaurant known for its barbecue--came from restaurant headquarters in Minnesota to volunteer.

"I think it's important for 'Famous Dave's,' that we're able to help out the community that we do business in," said Anderson. "So we're here to show support."

Members of this relief team will cook, package and hand out those meals until Sunday.

"There's no competition here. The only competition is to get food to the victims of the disaster," said Truckenbrod.

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