KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (November 18, 2021) – The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) has announced the winners of its third annual barbeque competition, the KCBS World Invitational, presented by Smithfield®. The event was held at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, OK.
The KCBS World Invitational, presented by Smithfield®, provides the opportunity for championship barbeque pitmasters to go head-to-head on a global stage; competing for the title of KCBS World Champion. The KCBS World Invitational competition was held November 12th – 14th at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. An invitational of champions, Master Series division pitmasters must have won Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion at a KCBS-sanctioned barbeque contest between January 1, 2019 and July 31, 2021. Pitmasters were competing for cash, significant bragging rights for a world champion pitmaster title, and trophies from partners Old World Spices & Seasonings.
The 2021 KCBS Master Series World Champion title went to Richard Fergola of Fergolicious BBQ from Gardner, KS. Master Series Reserve Grand Champion, Smoke Me Silliy, Robert Vanderipe from Madison, AL. Champions were also crowned in the individual meat categories; chicken, pork ribs, pork, and brisket. Rooters N Tooters, Paul Keltner from Mt. Pleasant, TN, took home the Chicken Champion title. The first place winner in pork ribs went to Parts R’ Smokin lead by Matt Bohmann from Harrisonville, MO. In pork, the first place winner was Chingon BBQ, Manuel Moreno from Borger, TX. Clark Crew, led by Travis Clark from Oklahoma City, OK, earned the Brisket Champion title.
New for 2021 is the KCBS Open Contest; allowing Backyard and Master Series pitmasters to go head-to-head for the KCBS Wells Cup; named in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Gary and Carolyn Wells founding KCBS. This year, Chris Schafer with Heavy Smoke BBQ from St. Peters, MO won the Grand Championship and the Wells Cup and Brad Leighninger with Gettin’ Basted from Springfield, MO won the Reserve Grand Championship. Rio Valley Meat, Fred Robles from Weslaco, TX took first place in chicken. Brad Leighringer with Gettin’ Basted from Springfield, MO took first place in pork ribs. In Pork, Travis Clark with Clark Crew BBQ from Oklahoma City, OK took home tops honors. Fallout BBQ’s Phillip Mason from Hartsville, SC won first place brisket.
The KCBS World Invitational also included the finale of the 2021 Turkey Smoke turkey ancillary series that KCBS leads in partnership with the National Turkey Federation to showcase the versatility of turkey on the smoker. The Turkey Smoke championship went to Smoke this BBQ, led by Mary Knowles from Clark, MO.
The KCBS Backyard Championship showcased Backyard Series pitmasters preparing chicken and pork ribs. The Grand Champion of the Backyard contest was Sweet & Savory, Jamie Trader from Clements, MD The Reserve Grand Champion was Lem’s Meat Varnish, Chris Lemon from South Charleston, WV. D’s Butts-N-Beers BBQ Team led by Dennis Flint from Gordansville, VA took home first place in chicken and The Yardpigs, Michael Olson from Andover, ME took home 1st place honors in pork ribs.
This year featured the Celebrate Real Pork Series presented by the National Pork Board and Celebrate Real Pork Kid’s Que. Tiny E BBQ’s Timothy Esh from Allen, TX took home first place in the Celebrate Real Pork Series. Additionally, teams competed in a cocktail contest presented by 360 Vodka. Piggin’ Whiskey, Brant Williams from Hot Springs, AR took home first place honors.
KCBS also recognized its Team of the Year winners and honored the Gary Wells Sportsmanship Award recipient, Brian Oliver of Liberty, MO. Brian has and continues to go over and beyond for his bbq family. The Carolyn Wells Ambassadorship Award went the Sterling Ball from Coachella, CA. Sterling has done so much to make the sport of barbeque what it is today; developing programs to support organizers and cooks, organizing highly coveted bbq contests, mentoring cook teams, and providing opportunities to support numerous children’s charities.
“We are so proud of all of the KCBS pitmasters who qualified and competed for a World Champion title in our World Invitational,” says Emily Detwiler, Chief Executive Officer of KCBS. “We congratulate all the pitmasters who competed this weekend and applaud them for a successful 2021 season. We look forward to the 2022 bbq season!”
To learn more about the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the 2021 KCBS World Invitational, including full results from both competitions, visit www.kcbs.us.