Don't Miss Rib King NYC 2019, NYC BBQ's First Curated Event

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I’m extremely excited to announce Rib King NYC 2019, the first event I’ve had the pleasure of curating. The event takes place on Thursday, May 30 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, so mark your calendars and buy tickets for Rib King here.

This all-inclusive event will feature pork and beef ribs, beer, cider, spirits, and much more. We’ll have more than 10 chefs and pitmasters serving up their rib creations and competing for the title of Rib King 2019. Both Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards will be given out.

For background, Rib King was an event held one time in 2016 but unfortunately hasn’t been held since. Matt Fisher, formerly of Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, won at Rib King 2016. Earlier this year, I convinced Jimmy Carbone of Food Karma Events to let me help resurrect the event. Carbone agreed and Food Karma will be producing this year.

Jimmy has been instrumental in promoting the NYC barbecue scene by hosting the Brisket King and Pig Island events each year. These events give local and out-of-town pitmasters a chance to show off their skills while also providing a hell of an event for meat lovers who live in NYC.

Restaurants and pitmasters that have been confirmed so far include:

Cash Only BBQ - Corey Cash
Cash Only BBQ is a relatively new operation out of Brooklyn that has lots of swagger and creativity and it is a favorite at local barbecue events. Owner Corey Cash had to recently close his small joint but plans to open a bigger one later this year in Brooklyn.

Hill Country Barbecue Market - Ash Fulk
Hill Country is one of NYC’s most important barbecue joints and one of the best you’ll find in Manhattan. Pitmaster Ash Fulk has been slinging great Texas-style BBQ for many years and previously competed on Bravo’s Top Chef.

Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse - Izzy Eidelman
Izzy's Brooklyn Smokehouse is the brainchild of Sruli “Izzy” Eidelman, a master of kosher barbecue and a previous winner of Brisket King NYC in 2017. He recently opened an outstanding kosher barbecue taqueria in Crown Heights and he is building an empire of inventive kosher restaurants. 

Mable’s Smokehouse - Jeff Lutonsky and Meghan Love
Mable’s Smokehouse has been a popular barbecue staple in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for nearly 10 years. Jeff and Meghan offer a blend of Texas, Kansas City, and Oklahoma barbecue with an emphasis on brisket and ribs.

Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue - Cenobio Canalizo and Eric Springer
Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue moved to new ownership last year and executive chef Cenobio Canalizo and pitmaster Eric Springer have reinvigorated the menu. The dynamic duo will certainly bring their A game to Rib King.

Pig Beach NYC - Matt Abdoo
Pig Beach NYC has become one of the most exciting Brooklyn barbecue operations, with chef and pitmaster Matt Abdoo leading the charge.

Queens Bully - Melvin “Boots” Johnson
Queens Bully in Forest Hills may be best known as a popular gastropub, but chef and pitmaster Melvin “Boots” Johnson can run circles around most pitmasters. Johnson took home the $50,000 grand prize on Chopped Grill Masters with his take on Memphis-style barbecue.

Rub It Til It Smokes - Evan Burrows and Roberto Pastrano
The Rub It Til It Smokes (RITIS) barbecue team from New Jersey has been making fantastic food for years, all with the purpose of raising money to support charities and fundraisers.

Wandering Que - Ari White
Wandering Que’s Ari White is one of NYC’s leading kosher barbecue voices. White won Brisket King 2016 and he still hosts many successful pop-ups around the city.

Just like Brisket King 2018 (see above), a winner will be crowned at Rib King 2019.

Just like Brisket King 2018 (see above), a winner will be crowned at Rib King 2019.

More pitmasters and chefs from the NYC area will be added during the next few weeks. Early bird ticket sales run $59 and end on May 1. After that, tickets will go up to $69, so don’t delay on getting your tickets secured soon.

The event will have both indoor and outdoor space to hang out. The outdoor section is next to Williamsburg's East River State Park, and it will have great sunset views over the East River of Manhattan. We will have some live music as well to keep the party lively.

Last but not least: Want to take part in the event as a participant or sponsor? Let me know.

Sean Ludwig
Founder, NYC BBQ


Red Hook Tavern from Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que fame will open in the next month or two in Brooklyn.

Red Hook Tavern from Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que fame will open in the next month or two in Brooklyn.

Here are the top BBQ and food stories in New York area this week:

  • The highly anticipated openings of Billy Durney’s Red Hook Tavern and Hometown Deli have been pushed back to May/June, due to utility issues, according to Eater NY’s list of 13 most anticipated restaurant openings of spring 2019. Durney’s Hometown Bar-B-Que is one of the top joints in the NYC metro, so all eyes will be on the new restaurant openings.

  • Camp Curtin Bar-B-Que Station, a popular barbecue joint in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, closed abruptly last weekend after serving the local area for 30 years. The joint could be replaced by a medical marijuana dispensary.

  • Route 31 Smokehouse BBQ has opened at the Great Northern Mall near Syracuse. Owner Jon Williams promises food much better than you’d normally find at a mall and has plans to open a full-service restaurant outside the mall at a later date.

  • The Ridgefield BBQ and Music Festival in Connecticut (formerly the Ridgefield Gone Country Rotary BBQ) has officially set its dates and will be held on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5. More than 30 teams will be competing there and non-competitors will be able to buy from a variety of food, beer, and other vendors.

  • A new breakfast and lunch barbecue diner called Biggins Diggins opened recently in Lanesborough, Massachusetts. It serves comfort food with a twist, including smoked bacon, brisket cheesesteaks, apple-fig-brie omelettes, according to the Berkshire Eagle.


Here are the top BBQ (and related) food events coming soon to the New York metro area:

  • April 7: At this weekend’s 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 two hours. It also includes a Brooklyn bagel bar, cheese station, and more. Buy tickets here.

  • April 10: The awesome Brisket King NYC event is 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.

  • May 30: Don’t miss Rib King NYC 2019, the first barbecue event curated by NYC BBQ. This event in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is produced by Food Karma Events and will be a celebration of ribs and rib creations with more than 10 pitmasters and chefs from NYC. Early bird ticket sales end on May 1, so don’t delay. 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.


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