Mendel Segal, the Kansas City rabbi who finished second in last year’s inaugural competition, came back to Texas for another helping and won the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship on a warm Sunday afternoon, Oct. 30.
Segal, who organizes a similar competition in Kansas City and runs his own RaBBi-Q barbecue business, had the top overall score compiled from the four meat categories to take home the Grand Champion trophy.
“I was slightly disappointed last year,” he said. “But I’m thrilled I could make it back and win this time. My plan was to figure out what works, stick to the plan and have fun.”
About 1,500 people attended the second annual championship, enjoying a festival of music, food and family activities, while watching the teams work their smoking and grilling magic.
“When we all come together with good Jewish food, it’s always a great event,” said Rabbi David Shawel, director of supervision for Dallas Kosher, which oversaw the championship beginning with Thursday night’s preparation and continuing when the mashgiachs lit the fires Saturday night. “I hope we have 3,000 people next year.”
The championship was hosted by Sunnyland Patio Furniture and organized by the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club, with part of the proceeds benefiting Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI), which provides group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities. The Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned the event and provided certified judges to rate each team’s brisket, chicken, turkey and beef ribs.
As in most events like this, the competitors ranged from culinary pros to barbecue-loving amateurs who wanted to show off their skills and enjoy the camaraderie.
“It’s like an all-night tailgate party that’s all about barbecue,” said Ralph Landau, who partnered with Ilan Fehler in the TBD (Two Barbecue Dudes) team that won awards in several categories. “And you take home trophies.”
Brian Rubenstein, president of the Beth Torah Men’s Club, said the day’s outcome was worth all the hard work.
“We learned a lot our first year, so the whole process went pretty smoothly,” he said. “We’re delighted we can put on an event that welcomes the whole Jewish community, and we plan to keep doing it for a long time.”
The second place overall winner was Izzy Eidelman, who runs Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse in New York City — and came the farthest to compete.
“People are nice here,” he said. “And the weather’s not cold.”
— Submitted by Michael Precker