September 28, 2010
This weekend is the American Royal Barbeque, and all the celebrities of the barbecue world are going to be there: ribs, chicken, pork, brisket, and that notoriously fickle member of the entourage, beans. The American Royal Barbecue contest is, in the words of Carolyn Wells, Executive Director of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the largest barbecue competition in the world.
Here's a recent exchange I had with Carolyn Wells concerning the origins of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and the competition going down this weekend.
How did the Kansas City Barbeque Society get started?
It was started 25 years ago by me, my late husband Gary, and another friend. It was simply a way to provide centralized communication to the 30 or so cooking teams that participated in the 3 (non-sanctioned) contests in the KC metro area. Our only rule was that none of it be taken seriously. Obviously things have changed! We now have 14,000 members worldwide, have certified over 15,000 judges, sanction over 300 contests, have over 4,650 active cooking teams as members, and are the standard bearer for competition BBQ.
Will there be a strong KCBS presence at the American Royal Barbecue?
The Royal is a KCBS sanctioned contest. Our Great American BBQ Tour trailers will be there. We will have a booth in the American Royal BBQ Expo area.
On the competition circuit how big is the American Royal Barbecue? Is it the Super Bowl of all barbecue competitions?
It is the largest competition in the world with over 500 teams in the Open.
If someone hasn't been to the American Royal Barbecue what can they expect to see?
It is like the world's largest backyard BBQ. You can walk around and chat with the teams if they are not in the heat of competition, attend the Expo, take a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge class, and participate in the festivities. It is universally against Health Department regulations for teams to dispense food to the general public, but BBQ is available for sale, and there will be sampling at the various demo sites.
To put KCBS's cookbook, Barbeque-- Its Not Just for Breakfast Anymore click here.
For a list of Mid-Continent's most recent BBQ-centric titles click here.
South Independence Branch