On this episode of “Hot Off The Press,” Chef Pete brings you all the action hot off the grill from Lynchburg, Tennessee, host of the 29th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue and home to the famous Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Sixty-seven championship teams from the U.S. and 23 international teams from countries including Austria, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland, competed in the invitation-only cook-off for the coveted Grand Champion title.
“The Jack” kicked off Friday evening with a VIP party on “BBQ Hill” featuring live music from Nashville recording country artist and X-Factor Top 8 Finalist, Skyelor Anderson. “Big Jim” Stancil of Bareknuckles BBQ in Oxford, Georgia, served up tacos made with delicious American Wagyu Outside Skirt Steak from Snake River Farms in Idaho, while guests also enjoyed a Southern-style buffet of fried chicken and "fixins" catered by the folks at Jack Daniel’s.
Some of the top pitmasters and personalities in the barbecue circuit, a host of celebrity judges, and Tennessee Whiskey royalty were in attendance, including the legendary Frank Bobo—5th Master Distiller who oversaw the historic rise of the Old No. 7 Brand during the 1970s and most of the 1980s—and current Jack Daniel’s Master Distillers Jeff Arnett and Chris Fletcher. Pete caught up with Stretch Rumaner of “Grinders," three-time barbecue world champion Tuffy Stone, and “The Jack” emcee Chip Chapman.
Saturday festivities began with the longstanding tradition of the apron signing by “The Jack” judges prior to the competition. Each team competed in seven categories – pork ribs, pork shoulder/butts, beef brisket, chicken, dessert, cook’s choice, and Jack Daniel’s sauce.
Rocky Top Barbecue of Jonesborough, Tennessee, claimed the top spot and a $10,000 cash prize. The American Dream BBQ Team from Tecumseh, Oklahoma, was named the Reserve Grand Champion, taking home the second-place cash prize of $2,500. Other teams rounding out the top 10 are:
3. Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ (Abington, MA)
4. Parrothead Smokers (Dakota Dunes, SD)
5. Gettin’ Basted (Springfield, MO)
6. Lucky’s Q (Waverly, IA)
7. R Butts R Smokin (Liberty, MO)
8. Drilling & Grilling BBQ Team (Glenn Rock, PA)
9. Shake ‘N Bake BBQ (New Haven, MO)
10. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q (Decatur, AL)
“Hot Off The Press” podcast debuted at “The Jack” in 2015 so it’s a favorite of the HotP team. Can’t wait to be back next year!
On this episode of “Hot off the Press” Chef Pete and fellow MESSLORDS Linkie Marais and John Conley take a break from serving troops in Okinawa, Japan, to chat with a local radio show about some of the behind-the-scenes happenings on this latest tour.
The celebrity chef trio spent their only day off during the “Fork Full of Freedom” Tour to share with listeners what it means to each of them to be able to “serve those who serve us.”
Part of Navy Entertainment MWR Program, the primary purpose of MESSLORDS is to work with all facets of the U.S. military and their families, both domestically and abroad, to provide entertainment, education and boost morale through culinary related shows and demonstrations. MESSLORDS provides celebrity chefs and other culinary related personalities with a vehicle capable of presenting shows and demonstrations at select military bases and installations. The culinary experts of The MESSLORDS offer educational opportunities as well as healthy rivalries through demonstrations and cooking competitions.
Award-winning Chef John Conley, owner of Salsa Brava and Fat Olives in Flagstaff, Arizona, has been serving food in the Flagstaff area for more than 20 years. He started cooking at the age of 13 and got his first job in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher in Phoenix. Conley has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” and Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s Grocery Games.” Follow Chef John on Facebook.
Immigrating to the U.S. in 1999, Linkie Marais and her family settled in Tupelo, Mississippi where she began her culinary career piping cakes for a local catering company. After earning a degree in Culinary Arts and a minor in Food Arts from Mississippi University for Women, Linkie’s career took off as she held various pastry and executive chef positions in Oxford, Mississippi before making the move to Massachusetts’ acclaimed Montilio’s Bakery. After discovering her love for grilling during a Big Green Egg® competition, Linkie’s passion for grilling began to take her career in a new and exciting direction. as Linkie is considered the best among the few females who have mastered the art of grilling. Connect with Linkie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks to our episode sponsor, Chef Works.