Tagged / bbq competition


Shining a Light on Southern Illinois

Shining a Light on Southern Illinois

Shining a light on Southern Illinois is one of our core business values and pillars. At 17th Street Barbecue, we relish any opportunity we might get to shine a light on this special region and to invite people from all over to our little corner of the world. There is some pretty incredible history, geography, innovation, and creativity to be found all around Southern Illinois. We tend to focus our efforts mostly on lifting up our barbecue culture, heritage, and local small business community members however we can. But when we stop and consider all at once the bounty that surrounds us, it makes us feel pretty darn lucky to be doing what we do right here in the #MiddleOfEverything.

This year has been a busy one when it comes to our promotion of Southern Illinois, and there’s much more to come. Please allow us to share with you a few quick takes…

Still shot from commercial. shine a light on southern illinoisIf you haven’t yet experienced this fun commercial recently released by Illinois Tourism, we highly recommend you take 30 seconds to check it out. It stars Illinois native Jane Lynch, and features several top destinations that are not to missed in the southern region of the state. 17th Street Barbecue is included in the fun, along with Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch, Walkers Bluff, Cache Bayou Outfitters, the Shawnee National Forest, and the spectacular Garden of the Gods. There’s so much to see and do right in our backyard ~ let’s get out there!

Small Town Big Business Logo shine a light on southern illinoisEarlier this month, Amy was a featured guest on the podcast Small Town, Big Business, produced in Marion, IL.  The discussion begins with the story of three generations of the Mills family. Each had a hand in building 17th Street Barbecue into the national brand it is today, starting with a dream and a sauce recipe. Additional topics include what it takes to be an entrepreneur in a small town, and what kind of choices a small business owner might need to make along the way. It also touches on  how it is both the successes and the failures over time that serve as important building blocks for positive business growth.

Logo17th Street Barbecue is looking forward to exhibiting again this year at the Southern Illinois Made Expo, an exciting event developed through a partnership between State Senator Dale Fowler and the Southern Illinois Chambers of Commerce. It’s a showcase of innovative and unique products made and beautiful destinations available in Southern Illinois. This year’s Expo will take place on July 22-23 from 10am to 4pm at The Pavilion in Marion. Stop by and see us!

Faye facade with Restoration Hero sign shine a light on southern illinoisThe Murphysboro Historic Preservation Commission presented its first Restoration Hero Award for 2023 to Amy Mills for her restoration work at 1616 Walnut Street. In choosing to restore instead of raze this building Amy saved not only a part of Murphysboro’s architectural history but also its unique streetscape. The spot is now home to Murphysboro’s newest café, Faye, serving specialty coffees, scratch-made breakfast and lunch, local beers and cocktails, along with a gourmet grocery and gifts section.

Animation of Amy with award plus historic shots of MurphysboroThis past March, Amy was honored to be named a Landmarks Illinois 2023 Influencer. The organization produced a profoundly lovely 3-minute video featuring Amy to share at their Preservation Forward award ceremony in Chicago. Full of rich archival footage and storytelling, the piece focused not only on the work the Mills family has put into their Murphysboro businesses, but on the story of Murphysboro itself. Historic images and anecdotes about the town’s factories and mining companies paint a clear-eyed portrait of the town’s history, and summon a promising look forward to its future. This was an excellent opportunity to shine a light on Southern Illinois in front of a crowd of invested restoration fans, right in our state’s largest city.  You can read more about Amy’s experiences at the event here.

"To preserve these beautiful old buildings on ourmain street is to preserve the soul of our community.But preservation is not only about buildings andstructures, [it] is also about food and food culture." –Amy Mills Logo shine a light on southern illinois

Now in its 36th year, the Praise the Lard Murphysboro Cook-Off is a highly anticipated local event. It is a huge draw for barbecue enthusiasts from across the nation. The Cook-Off takes place the third week of September, every year since it was started by Mike Mills and friends in 1986. The contest draws visitors from 14 states and several countries. Over 90 teams compete for national notoriety, SCA, KCBS and MBN titles, and cash prizes. Attendees savor delicious food, barbecue culture, hospitality and all that Southern Illinois has to offer. For the duration of the Cook-Off, the regional population swells by several times its normal size. This shift helps lift up the local economy and create Southern Illinois memories for visitors to savor — and planting the seed for future return trips.


Register Now for the ‘Whole Hog Extravaganza’ Barbecue Seminar

17th Street Barbecue Whole Hog Extravaganza Join 17th Street Barbecue for the 7th annual Whole Hog Extravaganza seminar and invest in your business, your network, and your dreams.

Building a barbecue empire requires more than the ability to cook great barbecue. Not only must you master all aspects of the restaurant business; you have to adapt to ever-changing trends, technology, and ways of conducting business.

Pitmasters at the top of their game invest in continuing education. Similarly, they constantly build relationships in both the barbecue and restaurant communities.

Above all, you’ll hear from a powerhouse lineup of legendary and celebrated pitmasters, restaurateurs, and marketing professionals discussing topics that will directly impact your business.

So whether you’re a seasoned or aspiring restaurateur, barbecue competitor, or a lifelong super enthusiast, we invite you to continue your education at the 7th Annual Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA seminar on January 15th and 16th!

This two-day event is packed with speakers, relevant seminar topics, and networking opportunities. Even more, it’s all designed to connect you with the ultimate tips of the barbecue trade that you can’t find anywhere else.

Presented by OnCue Hospitality Consulting, the Whole Hog Extravaganza seminar takes place at the legendary 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro, IL!

In addition, the classes explore a variety of cooking methods and demonstrations from prep through finished product for whole hogs, brisket, sausage, and more. During the BBQ MBA portion of the program, hear advice from this group of top talent. Bring your appetite too, because all the food will be sampled! You’ll also get a peek behind-the-scenes at the 17th Street operation.

Here’s an insider’s look at last year’s event. Every year, our lineup of top pitmasters, speakers, and press varies to bring you a fresh, relevant, learning experience. Check out this year’s lineup below!

THIS EVENT SELLS OUT. Remember, space is limited to just 35 participants in order to provide ample opportunity for learning and networking.

Click here for your all-access pass!

Whole Hog Extravaganza Seminar Lineup

Get ready for your sneak preview of the talent on board this year:

Mike Mills, Amy Mills and Phillip Heern of 17th Street, known as “The Legend,” “The BBQ Heiress,” and “The Right-Hand Man,” respectively, graciously host the event! While Mike is the most decorated pitmaster in America, Amy is the industry’s go-to girl for all things barbecue, and Phillip is an integral part of the crew.

John Lewis and his barbecrew opened Lewis Barbecue in Charleston in 2016. Barbecue enthusiasts flock to his pit year after year and wait in long lines to taste his expertly smoked pork spareribs, beef ribs, “Texas hot guts” sausage, oxtail and his legendary beef brisket.

Aaron Kleidon, brewmaster, co-owns Scratch Brewing Company, a farmhouse brewery in Ava, Illinois. Named one of the top four breweries for foraged beer by Outside Magazine, Scratch Brewing Company also focuses on farmhouse beers and other styles brewed with home grown and locally farmed and foraged ingredients.

Kat Kinsman, Journalist and author of Hi, Anxiety, is also the founder of Chefs with Issues and the Senior Food and Drinks Editor at Time Inc.’s all-breakfast site Extra Crispy.

That’s not all!

Barry Sorkin, former IT professional, opened SMOQUE BBQ in 2006. It quickly developed a reputation for serving some of the best BBQ in Chicago. He’s also the co-founder of the Illinois BBQ Alliance.

Tom and Shelley Niemeier of architectural and design firm SPACE STL, specialize in strategic planning, interior design, historic renovations, and more. Tom is a Registered Architect with over thirty years’ experience in the design industry. In addition, Shelley works closely with clients to develop cohesive branded themes in their new spaces and on a variety of interior design projects in the office.

Finally, the lineup continues with appearances by: 

Roderick Weaver is no stranger to the beverage scene across the country with nearly two decades of experience. After mastering the art of mixology, Weaver started his own firm, BarWeaver Consulting, in 2013, where he has helped create and mentor notable bar programs like OBC Kitchen in Lexington and Lewis Barbecue in Charleston.

Michael Ollier
Certified Angus Beef

Chris Chamberlain

Click the link below to register online or email Amy to pay by check and avoid the ticketing fee.