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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 3rd, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 43 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 43

Local 'Cowboy Flavor' goes to the Rose Bowl


Sports fans at this year’s Rose Bowl tailgate party got to experience a new flavor of barbecue—the Santa Maria way.

Santa Maria Valley catering company “Cowboy Flavor” was selected to barbecue for the VIP section at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Jan. 1, according to a press release.

Best in the west:
Catering duo Billy and Sue Ruiz owned and operated Cowboy Flavor for more than 30 years. They spent New Year’s serving their legendary food to VIPs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Around 2,000 VIP employees and guests of ESPN, Prime Sports, float owners, sponsors, and television executives were set to enjoy the unique and exclusive wonder that is Santa Maria-style barbecue.

According to a press release from Mooncatcher, a public relations firm, each year the tailgate village adopts a different theme; this year’s theme was “sports bar.” Cowboy Flavor was tapped to grill meat for the village while high-end catering trucks provided an assortment of finger foods, side dishes, and desserts.

“We are thrilled to be selected to take Santa Maria-style barbecue to the Rose Bowl and Parade of Roses—two of the oldest and most prestigious events celebrating the New Year,” Billy said.

Billy and his wife, Sue, have owned and operated their premier catering company, Cowboy Flavor, for more than 30 years. The press release explained that Billy is well known for his big personality and equally big handlebar moustache.

He planned to take two of his large barbecue pits to the event to grill baby back ribs, sausage, and tri tip. He said they used only Harris Ranch beef—trimmed to his specs—a special blend of seasonings, and signature red oak. He was thrilled for the opportunity to bring a taste of the Central Coast to Los Angeles and said his barbecue food fits perfectly with the sports bar theme.

“Santa Maria-style barbecue is unique to our area,” Billy said in an interview with the Sun. “It was good exposure for us and for Santa Maria barbecue.”

Even more than the food, Billy looked to enjoy exposing Los Angeles residents to barbecue.

“The atmosphere, the smell of the meat and the smoke, the red oak cooking—a lot of people haven’t been exposed to that,” he said.

Billy said that Cowboy Flavor appeared at the Rose Bowl two years ago. The company caught the eye of Prime Sports, the organization that puts on the corporate section of the event. Prime Sports wanted Cowboy Flavor to come back to the Rose Bowl; Billy said they’ve been working out the logistics for the last year.

The Rose Bowl, the “Super Bowl” of college football, plays host to one of the biggest tailgating parties with cars, vans, trucks, and televisions as far as the eye can see, Billy explained.

“The excitement in the air is enough to ignite anyone’s grill,” he said. “We were honored to be selected for this event.”

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