Annual championship reimagined
By Deb Silverthorn
The Sixth Annual Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship will adapt to the pandemic era this year, but some things won’t change, including delicious kosher barbecue and a giving-back spirit.
The reimagined event will be held Oct. 25, with pickup of preordered items available from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sunnyland Outdoor Living in Far North Dallas. Advance orders are available from now through Oct. 12.
“We couldn’t let the year go by without connecting, without sharing the goodness of the flavors of kosher barbecue and the goodness of our community coming together,” said Brian Rubenstein, who with Sandy Dorf and Jeff Markowitz co-chairs the annual event.
“We’ve changed the ‘how,’ but we know this will be a very special event that is safe, delicious and that allows us to give back to our charitable partners.”
All items must be ordered and paid for, in advance and none will be available the day of the event unless they have been pre-ordered. Items will be placed, contactless, into vehicles. The Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship website is open for orders of sliced brisket by the pound, smoked Jack’s Gourmet Sausage and smoked turkey legs. All items will be prepared by E & J Carolina BBQ’s Ken Foster alongside Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club members and under the supervision of Dallas Kosher. Baked beans with shredded brisket, coleslaw and a variety of non-dairy Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavors are also available.
“In the last three years I’ve learned about kosher guidelines, their significance, importance and their connection to the Jewish people. It’s a privilege for us to honor that,” said Foster, a previous Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship winner. “We’ve competed here, we know what good food means to people and we’re ready to prepare it fresh and delicious.”
The Championship, one of the country’s premier kosher barbecue contests, has previously hosted teams from Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and Miami.
The teams battle it out in the Sunnyland Outdoor Living parking lot starting after Shabbat, and on Sunday the arena transforms into a community celebration with music, a silent auction, children’s play area, vendors and the Texas Jewish Post hot dog and Restland Funeral Home pickle eating contests.
“This year it’s about the nachas and the tochen, the substance of camaraderie,” said Dallas Kosher Director of Supervision Rabbi David Shawel. “We have the opportunity for the kavanah, the focus, on bringing together our kehillah, our community, as Jews.”
This year, while the festival atmosphere will be different, there will be opportunities to give blood via the American Red Cross and drop off nonperishable foods for the Jewish Family Service’s Food Pantry. JFS will also benefit from some of the event’s proceeds.
“While we are immensely proud of our impact this far, we know our work has just begun. In recent years, we served around 14,000 clients annually across our service areas. In the last five months, we’ve served 8,000 more than our average year,” said JFS’ CEO Cathy Barker. “The numbers are growing as unemployment benefits have run out and people, even with savings, are finding themselves in situations that they never could have dreamed of.”
Barker added, “Our services are much more critical right now and we need the community’s support and that of organizations like the Men’s Club who make the impossible, possible. We can’t thank them enough and we thank the community for helping by coming out and ordering your barbecue.”
Rubenstein said that although he’ll miss the gathering and the competition, “the event’s spirit will be here. We’ve worked hard to build a community and we hope this will help us continue the momentum and have people ready for more.”