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Bobby Flay’s Food Network show will crown the ‘Master of Cue’: Could it be a KCK BBQ?

Tracing the trail of BBQ to Kansas City

From the Carolinas to KC, The Star's food editor Jill Silva talks America's various styles of barbecue.
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From the Carolinas to KC, The Star's food editor Jill Silva talks America's various styles of barbecue.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s new Food Network show will pit him against fellow Iron Chef Michael Symon — each with a team of barbecue competitors vying to be the “Master of Cue.”

And Slap’s BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas, is in the running. Slap’s will be one of four barbecues on Flay’s team in the four-episode competition called “BBQ Brawl: Flay V. Symon.”

Joe Pearce, founder of Slap’s BBQ with his brother, Mike, said it was an honor to compete with some of the world’s best pitmasters.

“It takes all of your barbecue knowledge, all of your chef’s knowledge. But it was fun to mix those two things together to try to come out on top,” he said.

In a statement, Food Network president Courtney White said, “Bobby Flay is a leading authority when it comes to grilling, and a fierce competitor.”

A panel of judges — grilling experts Moe Cason, Chris Lilly and Amy Mills — will decide which chefs will “flame out.” Challenges include the pitmasters’ ability to cook any style of barbecue.

The show premieres Aug. 1 at 8 p.m.

Six years ago, the Pearce brothers started on the barbecue competition circuit under the Squeal like a Pig BBQ brand. They opened Slap’s BBQ, at 553 Central Ave., just off Interstate 70, in June 2014. Slap’s is short for Squeal Like a Pig.

The brothers said they are just trying to keep up these days as Slap’s is one of the fastest growing restaurants in the metro. There is usually a line out the door, and the barbecue sells out daily.



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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.
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