Past Events

Our last fling before heading north for the year was the fundraising event for the Del E. Webb performing arts center kids programs Guys Who Grill event.  All you do is grill or smoke what ever type and style of meat that you want.  The public pays a fee to get in for an all you can eat sampling of the goods.  We did mesquite smoked St. Louis style ribs, 45 racks of them.  Each patron got a rib and then they voted with money for whom they liked the best. There were 11 teams competing and they auctioned off a grill.  There was live music and a whole bunch of meat.  One of the teams was the city council, a few restaurants, parents and kids, attorneys and the chuck wagon was on display. The evening before, there were a lot of us there getting set up and getting things ready for the next day.  It was a very nice time, we had hot wings, we made rack of lamb and fried taters and onions and there were a few cervasas to help keep the dust down.  A big thank you goes to our sponser, Mrs. Gail Ditto.  She is from the Las Damas ladies riding group and she wanted us there so we stayed an extra week to help out.  Was a great time and met a lot of new folks and made some good contacts and had some great food.  The Webb center raised over 6,800.00 which made the day all that much better.  See ya next year.

Mesquite smoked, hand rubbed 45 racks of St. Louis style ribs. Very tender and yuummmy! This was our limited camp setup at the Guys Who Grill event. Over 500 hundrd people attended. Mayor Kelly Blunt and Vicki hangin at the wagon.
Lots of people checking out the Peter Shuttler wagon. Our good friend Dave Lookingbill slicing marinated pork for his famous tacos.  Yumm! Row of grillers We served over 450 individual ribs.
Our good friend Vicente Napoles flipping a bunch of chicken wings. Awsome grill he made himself. Was a beautiful day for smoking and grilling. Two good friends, Cathy Weiss on the left, director of the Webb Center and Eileen McGuire, Attorney extraordinaire. Daves magical vertical rotissire and his pineapple.
The evening before eating hot wings and rack of lamb.

 

 We were graciously asked back to do another Las Damas ladies riding group luncheon.  Boy did they pick an absolutly beautiful day to have their ride.  They met at the historic Rancho De Los Caballeros guest ranch and were led down the trail by none other then our great friend and Grammy award winning Caroline Markham.  If you havent had the opportunity to hear her sing from opera to don't fence me in, well to bad for you cause it is just outstanding.  The ladies rode south out to the historic Vulture Peak.  Even though they got there an hour early, we were ready and waiting with a fine lunch of BBQ beef, macaroni salad, tomato and cucumber salad, cheeder and chive scones and an apple/blueberry crisp.  They all really enjoyed the meal and the crisp did not last long.  But I think the hit of the day was when they all got there and dismounted, there was apples and carrots waiting for them to give to their mounts, had to fight off a few noses from the bucket. Was a beautiful day and a grand lunch, then they mounted back up and headed north back to the ranch.  A tip of the hat to the gals and looking forward to more rides.

Setting up our remote cooking camp before everyone arrives via horseback Our remote kitchen in the Arizona desert Las Damas ladies arriving to camp That would make Roy Rogers smile
Camp chatter and ready to serve lunch Was an absolutly beautiful day Getting mounted up to return to the ranch. Do you see a grammy award winner sittin pretty? Starting to head off into the arroyo
Headin' down the trail and lookin' good

How many of you in your travels have been thru or stuck in a road construction site?  If you didn't raise your hand you are probly not telling the truth.  Well if you take a look around while you are sitting there cussing someone for your situation you will see on most of the equipment being used on those road jobs the name Bearcat on the side.  Bearcat equipment is manufactured in Wickenburg, Arizona.  Many local folks work at this plant.  They put on a training seminar every year to train people to use their equipment properly and efficently so they can get done quicker and you can be on your way faster.  They asked us to provide a luncheon for this very large group of workers that come from all over the country.  We happily agreed.  We had a great day and lunch was a great success.  They had mesquite smoked pork, BBQ beef, Vicki's famous potato salad, coleslaw, buns, rolls, chips, chocolate raspberry, cream cheese brownies, peach, blueberry cobbler and assorted cookies.  We got a lot of thank you's and good grub comments which in construction lingo is that was pretty damn good!  Thanks to everyone at Bearcat for the opportunity and I hope I don't see any of those guys in construction zones but we probly will.

The big shots keeping everybody organized Getting some training on the equipment All ready to go, just waiting for the recess bell showing off with the crane
Starting to show up for lunch How much food can 150 construction workers eat? Coming back for seconds It got real quiet once they started eatin'

Found ourselves in Casa Grande Arizona at the Pinal County Sheriffs possee's Cowboy and Indian days rodeo and chuck wagon cook off.  We were called and asked to participate in this invitation only event.  Casa Grande for you that don't know is between Phoenix and Tucson, and if you don't know it gets really windy there most of the time.  Well this 3 day event was perfect.  There was hardly a hint of a breeze, in fact it was on the warm side even for Feburary in Arizona.  We arrived on Friday to set up and Saturday was the wagon judging and the cook off was at noon. 

Here is how a chuck wagon cook off works.  Once you have your camp set up, they come and judge that by the American Chuck Wagon Association rules.  Basically the rules are that you have to have everything they would have needed to travel down the trail in your camp or on your wagon, it all has to be as original as possible and work.  Not an easy task when you are talking about the late 1800's.  Then the sponsers of the cook off give you a pantry of ingredients, meat, flour, sugar, potatoes, onions, beans coffee, water, oil, butter and a few others.  These are the staples to make your meal with.  So on Saturday starting at o dark 30 you are in camp starting to cook the meal that gets turned in at 11:30 for judging and you feed 50 of the public at noon.  We started at 4am to be ready by noon, and you need every second.  Everything has to be cooked over wood and in cast iron.  This is only our 2nd cook off and we won in 4 catagories.  We were very happy with those places, its not as easy as it sounds to cook like they did on the trail with limited ingredients and make the judge's like it.  It is not like catering where you use the ingredients that you want with your own recipes, you are limited to what they would have had on the trail, which was not much.  All the other wagons have a lot more experience at the cook offs but we are learning the ropes. 

They asked us to stay over for Sunday so the public could look at the wagon camps and they let us serve lunch on our own with what we wanted to serve.  That was a nice change and we had a big crowd at the wagon for our mesquite smoked pulled pork, ranch beans, rolls and lots of cookies.  Had a great time and thanks to all, looking forward to the next one.

Ready to serve Big crowd chowing down Late afternoon camp Our original 1880's towable smoker and grill, hard to find!
Some admirers checking out the wagon and camp

 

The middle of February found us on the Hassayampa river in Morristown Arizona providing a noon luncheon for the historic Las Damas ladies monthly ride.  A member of the group hosts the ride and choices the riding area and trails and the meal.  The group also does a week long ride in the spring.  The menu consisted of mesquite smoked pork, broccoli slaw, Vicki's famous potato salad, lunch roll with banana cake for dessert.  We got to visit with some old friends and make lots of new ones.  Everyone enjoyed the lunch very much and we had a great time providing.  Everyone loved the wagon, a good time was had by all, oh and yes it was another gorgeous Arizona winter day. A tip of the hat to the ladies for letting us be a part.

Ready to ride. I hope were not riding drag. Lets hit the trail ladies, were burning daylight. Waiting for everyone to come back to camp.
Lunch time. Which ways the chow line? I hope theres more cake. Lounging after noon meal.
A good day in Arizona.

 

December found us in Arizona, Waddell Arizona to be exact.  We were asked to cater the Cleats company Christmas party for my long time friends Curt and Bobbi Cress.  It was a rainy weekend so did not get a chance to set up the wagon camp, but did get it out briefly for all to see.  We had mesquite smoked baby back ribs, beef tenderloin, whole chickens, dutch oven potatos, baked beans, broccoli slaw, tossed green salad, chedder chive scones and Bobbi made 2 fantastic desserts to round out the affair.  Everyone loved the food and had a great time in spite of the rain.

The end of September gave us the opportunity to host a private end of summer cookout for Mayor Boyd Siddoway and other elected officials and administrators from Wyomings newest town, Star Valley Ranch.  We had a very beautiful Autum evening.  Our menu included, smoked baby back ribs, baked beans, broccoli slaw, New Orleans corn cassarole, corn bread, peach-blueberry cobbler to round it all off.  We also had chips, salsa and guacamole for starters.  Everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the view.  Everyone could not thank us enough for the wonderful meal, they throughly enjoyed it.  We want to thank the Mayor and everyone else for coming up and hosting their cookout with us.  We look forward to many more evenings together.

The wagon camp in its fall colors Stunning scenery, roaring fire, five star meal, does it get any better? Another fabulous evening with a lovely sunset to boot The Mayor spinning some tall tales around the camp fire
Wow, that trivia question sure has us stumped!
 

  

We got to be a part of a great family reunion at the Hook Ranch.  Jerry and Susan Singleton hosted the event and it was a great time.  We were in Star Valley Ranch which is a very beautiful development in Star Valley.  There were a lot of states represented and even the midwest folks really loved the pulled pork and ribs, and thats not easy to do since they are kinda bias that no one does it better then them.  Vicki is from the midwest so we kinda cheated.  Here is a very nice thank you we got from the Singletons.  " Susan and I wanted to tell you how happy we were with the family reunion dinner you put on at our house!  We had family members from all over -- but most from the midwest, where they all consider themselves "experts" on good food, especially beef, pork, ribs.  Well, you did great!  They all said the pulled pork was fantastic, and the ribs were the best they had ever tasted.  Too bad so many went back for seconds;  I was hoping for more leftovers that Sue and I could gobble down once the family members left!  The entire event was professional and fun--and your beautiful chuck wagon made the reunion truly unforgettable! It was terrific working with you, and we certainly appreciate your flexibility as the numbers of people coming to the event changed a few times!  Again -- it was a superb event".  We thank the Singleton's for letting us help out, and all the family got along, all reunions should be this much fun.  Jerry is a retired Navy pilot, now that would be fast food!

Did you ever see a bigger bunch of greeeen horns?

 

My daughter Leandra and her family, Jason, Jacob and Jaidyn came up to Wyoming for a week to get out of the Arizona heat.  They went to Jackson Hole, Star Valley, Yellowstone, Teton Park and every where in between.  The Grandkids got to go to the County fair and the rodeo.  We had a great visit and ate lots of good food.  We enjoyed having them here but it was too short of time.

   

 

On August 12th we got to go to Victor Idaho and set up camp at Moose Creek Ranch.  A very beautiful spot at the base of Teton pass.  We provided the camp cookins' for a Catholic conference retreat.  There were folks from all over the world and the U.S. there.  There was lush green grass, a camp fire, lots of music and some very good food.  Everyone loved the menu of filet mignon, BBQ chicken, dutch oven potatoes, cowboy beans, tossed green salad and apple crisp to top it all off with.  The chuck wagon was a big hit for a lot of people who had never seen one.  I am pretty sure they never had chuck wagons in Peru and other foreign places, so lots of pictures were being taken.  Was a wonderful evening and thanks to Moose Creek for the wonderful hospitality. 

Camp at Moose Creek Ranch in Victor Idaho Guests enjoying a beautiful evening in Idaho The head honcho's table Trying to find room for dessert
Thinking of taking a nap after finding room for dessert
 

On August 10th we were asked to provide all the vittles for the Star Valley Medical Center's employee picnic.  They really go all out for them with popcorn, cotton candy, lots of door prizes, the high school bluegrass band, games, wagon rides and of course our chuck wagon and good food to round out the event.  There were around 400 people there.  The food was a huge success with smoked pork, baked beans, macaroni salad, tossed green salad, chocolate chip bars and raspberry oatmeal squares.  There were hot dogs for the kids and watermelon too.  We were set up in the park on the grass by the creek in the shade, it was a very nice spot and a great day. 

Creek side with our camp setup Picnic guests chewing the fat Duded up Gals making popcorn and cotton candy per Doctors orders

 

We did a heavy Hors D'oeuvres party in Jackson Hole on June 19th at the American Legion hall for the Wounded Warriors group.  We got to meet all the wounded soldiers that came from all over the country for therapy in Jackson.  Met a lot of local folks who had sponsored them for their trip.  Had a great time and the food was very well received and had a lot of requests for to go plates which we were more then happy to do.

 

We held a business luncheon at the Diamond Bar J ranch.  The Star Valley Chamber of Commerce came out and did a ribbon cutting for us.  It was the first really nice day of the season.  There was a great turnout and the food got a lot of rave reviews.

The menu was pulled pork, BBQ beef, coleslaw, macaroni salad, dutch oven potatoes, meatballs, veggie trays, apple crisp, tortillas, buns, lots of different sauces, lemonade, iced tea.  We even had a gentlemen tell us it was the best pork and beef he had ever had.  Now that will make your hat get tight in a hurry!  We got to meet a lot of nice folks from the Star Valley area and Dawn Davis came and played her fiddle while everyone mingled and ate.

We smoked the pork and beef over Mesquite and most people from this part of the west have not experienced that but it made quick fans for sure.

 There were Doctors, County Attorney, CPA's, school Administrators, County Sheriff, County Commissioners, and business owners, and nobody got arrested or thrown out, so will call it a success.

  We had the cowboy camp set up and everyone sure enjoyed seeing the wagon and all the antiques.  But best of all they liked seeing the chow hittin' the plate.

Everyone enjoyed the sunshine but had to hunt up some shade after a while, we just aren't used to the heat yet, after the winter we have had, 60 degrees is a scorcher.

After everyone filled up and we broke camp, were betting that a lot of naps were taken after everyone went back to work.

 

  

Look at some video from one of our outings.  If you like chuck wagons, you will like Dawn's fiddling.

 

We prepared a drop off luncheon for Elk Horn Dental in Afton.  They had pulled pork sandwhiches, macaroni salad, broccoli salad, peach and blueberry cobbler with lemonade.  We got a nice email from Andy Orton, the dentist saying that it was really really good and they enjoyed it very much and were going to naw on the left overs the next day.  Now when your dentist says he really enjoyed the cobbler, I don't think he can give you to much grief when your sitting in the chair with a cavity.

On July 16th we catered a wedding for Kit & Sherri Long in Grover Park which is up in the forest at an old CCC camp.  There was around 100 guests.  Some came by truck, some came by car and some came by horseback.  They were camping for the weekend and we came up on Saturday and set up the whole cowboy camp.  With the wagon and the mountains and trees it sure made for a handsome camp.  There was a beatin' path around the wagon from everyone giving it the eye.  We sure got a lot of very gracious comments about the whole set up.  The menu was smoked pork, dutch oven potatoes, cowboy beans, tossed green salad and dinner roll.  We made a new honey mustard salad dressing and it was awsome.  Everyone really loved the food and there were a lot of seconds and thirds packed on.  There was a couple of guests trying to figure out how they were going to get mounted on their steeds again after eating so much.  There was a big camp fire and a very heated match of horseshoes, and don't forget the cutting of the wedding cake.  A very fine camp and a great time was had by everyone.   

Cowboy camp and our fire pit Some guests checking out the antiques mounted on the chuck wagon Well, I think the pork was the best, no no the beans were the best, come'on, the potatoes were out of this world The Brides parents table
Everyone is starting to gather after they heard the supper bell Some guests enjoying the day The 2 Hoodies' taking a break The serving line almost ready
If you want to quiet a group down, just put a plate full of grub in their hands

 

 

 

 On July 22, we were part of the local Rotary Club annual chili cook off.  We made a pork green chili.  There were 13 entrants and about 350 attendee's, there was a band also.  Vicki and one of our regular Hoodie's were there to serve, and a good time was had by all.  Check out the Rotary Web Site for more information. 

 

 

 

 

 

On July 23rd, we had the chuck wagon camp set up at the Pro Bull Riding Super Bull event at the fair grounds in Afton.  This is one of the 10 events from around the country for the riders to qualify for the National Finals in Bull riding.  It was an absolutly beautiful day and there was a lot of activitys around town leading up to the riding event.  We had a lot of the cowboy's come by the wagon for some vittles before they went out.  We meet a lot of nice folks from all over who were there to watch.  We had many many great comments on the food, got to network with a bunch of folks, and had a really busy but great time showing off what we can do.     

 

 
 
JOE & VICKI JONES
928-713-6078
 WESTERN RANGE CATERING
PROFESSIONAL CUSTOM CATERING
WESTERNRANGECATERING@GMail.COM
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