Tagged / bbq


Portrait Session at the Whole Hog Extravaganza.

I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve, one of my favorite days of the year, and I’m putting some final touches on this year’s Whole Hog Extravaganza. I’m a goal setter and a planner, and I’ve been plotting and planning our 2020 for several months. Turning that calendar page to a fresh new year — and a fresh new DECADE — is both symbolic and refreshing for me. In order to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way — and yours — it’s imperative to have all of the assets you need to take advantage of the media opportunities that come your way. Having a great headshot is one of those assets that’s critical to have on hand.

During the panel discussion with Beth Schiff, casting director for numerous Food Network shows, including CHOPPED, we discussed the need for great headshots, which are useful for all sorts of PR and television casting purposes. During that exchange, I talked about an opportunity on which I missed out because I didn’t have a professional head shot.

So … to remedy this situation, and send everyone home with a lagniappe, photographer Jeremy Kohm set up a dramatic lighting situation at last year’s Whole Hog Extravaganza, and took portraits of the attendees, speakers, and guest pitmasters. As you can see by the images in the post, the results were fantastic, and everyone has digital files of these shots to use in the future.

Jeremy shoots and creates digital content for numerous Food Network shows, so he knows exactly what casting directors and media outlets are looking for. He’ll be on hand again this year to create new portraits for all who attend. Who knows … Mike Mills might even get in on the action with you!

Here are some behind-the-scenes looks at Day One and Day Two of last year’s event. Illustrated with gorgeous images from Ken Goodman, these two posts will give you a good idea of the intense learning and delicious eating that takes place.

To secure your space in the January 20-21 event, click here to register. Travel/schedule details can be found at this link. I hope you’ll take advantage of this incredible opportunity to learn from an amazing group of pitmasters and speakers, make friends and contacts with an incredible group of people, and start 2020 with the burst of enthusiasm and motivation this event provides. There’s nothing like this in the barbecue world. We’d love to welcome you to 17th Street.


2019 Praise the Lard Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-off Results

 Our 32nd annual cook-off took place this weekend, September 19–21.  Over 100 teams from 18 states set up camp around the 17th Street Barbecue Warehouse to compete for Grand Champion bragging rights, entry into the World Steak Championship, the Kansas City Royal, the Jack Daniel’s draw and a share of $28,000 in prize money.  Over 200 judges, volunteers and ambassadors traveled from 20 states.  

Our contest is like a slice of pure Americana. This is our opportunity to showcase the very best of Murphysboro and Southern Illinois to a wonderful group of people from all over the world. This is a field of fierce competitors. If you can win here, you can win anywhere. In fact, we have a number of World Grand Champions in this field.

It also marked the 13th year of a dual-sanctioned event with teams cooking both the Memphis Barbecue Network and Kansas City Barbecue Society contests. Of the 79 competing teams, 22 were MBN sanctioned teams and 57 were KCBS sanctioned teams.  Ten teams cooked in both contests.

This year was the sixth annual Steak Cook-off, sanctioned by the Steak Cook-off Association, with 57 teams competing.

Winning teams received original trophies of one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass apples, exclusively commissioned for the Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-Off by the Douglass School Art Place in Murphysboro. Heath Riles, this year’s double Grand Champion received two chainsaw-carved pigs from father/daughter duo Wendy Brown and Mike Brown of Bear Tracks in Brownsville, Illinois. 

 We have the most generous support from our community and our sponsors. We couldn’t produce an event of this magnitude without their support, and without the multitude of local volunteers who help in so many ways. For our contest to have continually grown over the past 32 years is a testament to all of the people who come together to make this a crown jewel of the barbecue circuit. Murphysboro absolutely shines during this weekend.

Praise The Lard Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-Off Sponsors include 17thStreet Barbecue, The City of Murphysboro, Ole Hickory Pits, Wichita Packing Company, Townsend Supply, Venegoni Distributing, Silkworm, Republic Services, Certified Angus Beef, Arthur Agency, Big Muddy Brewing, Graue, Inc, Henson’s Septic Service, Mileur Orchard, Oliver and Associates, Pepsi, River Radio, Kingsford Charcoal, Schwebel Printing, Sound Core, Performance Food Group, US Foods, and Voss Heating and Air, among others.

Here are the results:

Memphis Barbecue Network

Grand Champion: Heath Riles BBQ 

MBN Ribs

5) Serial Grillers

4) Phat Chance

3) Get Your Grill On

2) Boro City Smokers

1) Heath Riles BBQ

MBN Pulled Pork

5) Goin’ Hog’N

4) Heath Riles BBQ

3) BBQ Bus

2) Phat Chance

1) Smokin’ Mud Duckers

MBN Whole Hog

5) Smokin’ Mud Duckers

4) Auto Be Grillin

3) Steamboat BBQ

2) Heath Riles BBQ

1) Bubba Grills

KCBS Grand Champion:  Heath Riles BBQ

KCBS Reserve Grand Champion:   St. Louis Black Iron BBQ

KCBS Chicken

10) Serial Grillers

9) One2bbq

8) Chasin Chicken Barbecue

7) Carrol Lous Smokehouse

6) Hot Coles BBQ

5) Jakey Leg BBQ

4) Checkered Pig

3) Razoracks

2) Smoke Me Silly

1) Heath Riles BBQ


10) Carrol Lous Smokehouse

9) Hot Coles BBQ

8) Risky Brisket

7) Heath Riles BBQ

6) Chasin Chicken Barbecue

5) Razoracks

4) Iowa Smokey D’s

3) Rocky Top Barbeque

2) Rooters N Tooters

1) Smoke Me Silly


10) Smokin’ Sauced

9) Iowa Smokey D’s

8) BBQ Bus

7) One2BBQ

6) Serial Grillers

5) Hefty Lefty BBQ

4) Smoke Me Silly

3) Crown Town Q

2) Carrol Lous Smokehouse

1) St. Louis Black Iron BBQ

KCBS Brisket

10) Hot Coles BBQ

9) One2bbq

8) Chasin Chicken Barbecue

7) Checkered Pig

6) Iowa Smokey Ds BBQ

5) Hefty Lefty BBQ

4) Cluck, Oink & Moo Barbecue

3) Rocky Top Barbecue

2) Fire Dancer BBQ

1) Bubba Grills

SCA Steak

5) Dave Salm

4) Tim Brown

3) Tim Axe

2) John Lindsey

1) Sandy Brown

Cabo Wabo Cabo-rita – It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere

Fish Contest – 1stPlace: Nuthatch Hill

Wings Contest – 1stPlace: Steamboat BBQ