Earlier this month, chef Charlie McKenna took home a first place win for his slow smoked pork shoulder at Memphis in May’s 2016 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, widely regarded as the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world. The chef and owner of award-winning barbecue restaurant, Lillie’s Q, was accompanied by his father and fellow pitmaster Quito McKenna (the Q in Lillie’s Q) who helped him secure first place among 55 other competitors in the category. The father-son team also won the pork shoulder category in 2007 and have competed in eleven Memphis in May competitions total, with nine top-ten finishes.
The 2016 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (May 12-14) brought 235 competitors from 22 states and five foreign countries to the banks of the Mississippi River. The competition started in 1978 in a parking lot with a few dozen teams and their grills and has grown to now occupy, and fill to capacity, 25-acre Tom Lee Park on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.
Those looking for a taste of the award-winning barbecue don’t have to wait for another competition. McKenna offers his signature slow smoked pork shoulder on the regular Lillie’s Q menu, available as a pulled pork sandwich or pulled pork platter (.5lb/1lb). Don’t forget to sneak a peek at the championship trophy, placed proudly on the Lillie’s Q bar.
Photo credit: Neil Burger