As the emcee, Lilly was speaking of the first Kingsford Invitational Barbecue Competition, held from Nov. 8 to 11 in Belle, Mo., which had superlative teams competing, the best-of-the-best chosen from eight top-tier regional contests like and the . There were almost as many star judges of the contest, seven, as there were teams, eight, competing for $50,000 and the Grand Champion title.
Given the increase in grilling "backyarders" and television usurping regional barbecue restaurant stars into nationally known faces with professional tours all over the country, it is no surprise that the charcoal briquette itself is also having its time in the sun. And nowhere does the sun shine brighter (along with the help of a lot of wood scrap and fire) than in Belle, Mo., the location of the Kingsford charcoal factory and the Kingsford Invitational barbecue contest. The Daily Meal, fresh off its Ultimate BBQ Road Trip, took a tour of the charcoal factory to see the journey of charcoal from wood to grill.
Regardless, the show has been fun and it has stimulated discussion. It was nice to see a grand old master beat the young bucks. I look forward to next season with a hunger to answer the burning question: Who will be the next "Kingsford Barbecue Pitmaster Grand Champion"?