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One of the lesser-known-but-still-good barbecue events that happens each year in the New York City metro is the NYC BBQ Cookoff at Historic Richmond Town in Staten Island. This year’s NYC BBQ Cookoff is happening Saturday, April 6 and provides some family fun and an opportunity for barbecue enthusiasts to see intense competition barbecue up close.
The NYC BBQ Cookoff is the only Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition that happens in the NYC metro each year. KCBS is the world's largest organization of barbecue enthusiasts with over 20,000 members, so it’s a big deal for them to have an event in NYC city limits. (Frankly, I wish there were more.)
The event, which costs $15 for adults and draws thousands of people, consists mostly of walking around Historic Richmond Town and getting face time with barbecue teams and sampling their food. There are 35 competition teams this year that will be cooking on site, including top teams like Smokin' Hoggz BBQ and Top Gun Barbecue. Keep in mind that the samples are on the small side, so you’re not going to necessarily get full from them. There are also vendors selling a variety of food, including larger portions of barbecue, and drinks including craft beer and fancy sodas.
For families, there will be children's activities and crafts. Organizers have also added “an event-wide scavenger hunt to keep the little ones busy while the adults talk barbecue,” according to Melissa Perez, the Communications and Special Events Manager of Historic Richmond Town.
I was able to go to 2018’s NYC BBQ Cookoff and had a great time sampling the food and meeting barbecue teams from around the Northeast. Last year’s event was a chance for Corner House BBQ in Staten Island to successfully showcase itself just before it opened to the public.
If you decide to go, be sure to get there right when the gates open at 12 p.m., as the samples run out quickly. And if you go early, you might get a chance to mingle with the barbecue teams before things get crowded on site. Unfortunately, the event is not really accessible to New Yorkers who don’t have a car, and I had to take the Staten Island Ferry and then get a car service last year.
I unfortunately won’t be able to attend this year due to being at the NBBQA 2019 conference in Kansas City, where I’ll be meeting with top barbecue minds from all over the country. But if you’re a big fan of barbecue competitions and are able to get to Staten Island on April 6, you can try to some great food and get a rare look at some of the Northeast’s top teams.
Founder, NYC BBQ
EAT ALL ABOUT IT
Here are the top BBQ and food stories in New York area this week:
The New York Times’ Pete Wells, a notoriously tough food critic, heaped hot praise on Blue Smoke’s new smoked and fried Cornish hen. You can get it at Blue Smoke’s location in Battery Park City.
New York staples Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Hill Country Barbecue Market, and Brother Jimmy’s were highlighted in a new roundup from AM New York of top country restaurants and bars in NYC.
The team behind Taino Smokehouse in Middletown, Connecticut has just opened a new location called Taino Prime in Meriden, Connecticut. It offers indoor seating for 260 people and specializes in prime steaks and open-pit barbecue.
The entertaining list of the eight sloppiest dishes in Central Jersey includes all-you-can-eat ribs from Big Ed's Ribs in Old Bridge and the chicken wings at 2 Much Sauce in Plainfield.
Here are the top BBQ (and related) food events coming soon to the New York metro area:
April 7: At The Bloody Mary Festival in Brooklyn, you’ll be able to try some of the craftiest and most creative Bloody Marys in all of NYC for 2 hours. It also includes a Brooklyn bagel bar, cheese station, and more. Buy tickets here.
April 10: The awesome Brisket King NYC event will be returning to Brooklyn on April 10. Hosted at Biba of Williamsburg, the all-inclusive event will feature 20 chefs and pitmasters serving their brisket creations. It will also feature a selection of beer, cider, wine, and spirits to enjoy. Early bird ticket sales end on March 15, so don’t delay. Buy tickets here.
April 13: Pig Beach in Brooklyn will be hosting the Jeff Michner BBQ Benefit on April 13 to raise money for Michner’s family following his death last year. The event will have an all-star lineup of pitmasters and chefs from all over the country. Read my write-up about the event to learn more. Buy tickets here.
April 13: The first-ever Tastes of Gowanus Food & Drink Crawl debuts in April, inviting locals to sample culinary options including barbecue from Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue and Dinosaur BBQ, among other good options. Four tastes will cost you $20, while 11 tastes will set you back $50. Buy tickets here.
April 13 & 14: Enjoy hot sauce samples from makers all over the world at the 7th annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. On top of samples, beer and BBQ will be available for purchase and there will be spicy food eating competitions to watch as well. Buy tickets here.
May 18: The World’s Fare 2019 at Citi Field in Queens will be taking place again in mid-May. More than 100 vendors will come together and unite through authentic food, drink and music curated by the city’s leading culinary advocates. Buy tickets here.
May 18-19: Harlem's food and the people who make it are waiting for your taste buds during The Harlem Stroll. This ticket gives you access to an unlimited walk around tasting of 20+ of the best restaurants in Harlem, including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken. Buy tickets here.
June 8: The NYC Bacon and Beer Classic 2019 will take place at the Brooklyn Mirage and will celebrate two of the best things in life: bacon and beer. Over 50 local restaurants will be serving bacon-inspired dishes, and local breweries will be pouring over 100 top craft beers. Early bird tickets are on sale now. Buy tickets here.