Chow Town

Fifth annual KC Kosher BBQ Championship a smokin’ success

Grand Champions, The Dukes of Chazer. They never smoke on Shabbos.
Grand Champions, The Dukes of Chazer. They never smoke on Shabbos.

Barbecue contests have a way of attracting many kinds of people in all manner of attire. Such was the scene recently at the Fifth Annual Kansas City Kosher BBQ Championship.

Shorts, jeans, slacks, T-shirts, long sleeves, jackets, yarmulkes, Royals baseball caps and barbecue team hats were in vogue on that ideal sunny, breezy, comfortable 80 degree day made for outdoor fun and barbecue.

Barbecue enthusiasts of all ages were attracted to the fun, food and aromas of meat fires emanating from the cooking sites of this year’s 18 competition teams with names such as Burnt Offering, Uncle Mordy, Chop Quey, Big Billy’s, Sephardi Q, and Dukes of Chazer. Kosher meat and equipment was provided by the founding sponsor, Vaad Hakashruth of Kansas City.

The Kansas City Kosher BBQ Championship is the first kosher barbecue contest to be sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS). Four kosher meat categories — beef ribs, chicken, beef brisket and turkey — were judged by an experienced panel of certified barbecue judges on the basis of appearance, tenderness and taste.

A panel of celebrity judges — including KC Baron of BBQ Paul Kirk, other local celebrities and “Fleish Gordon” from Brooklyn — sampled and commented on team entries for the entertainment and edification of festival goers under a large hospitality tent.

Kudos and applause to founder/organizer Rabbi Mendel Segal, the many friendly/competent volunteers, judges under the leadership of contest reps Peg and Dave Rogers, and all teams for setting high standards for kosher barbecue excellence. Special congratulations to this year’s Grand Champion, The Dukes of Chazer!

Ardie Davis founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. His most recent releases are America’s Best BBQ (Revised Edition), with chef Paul Kirk, and Barbecue Lover’s Kansas City Style.