Each year, the Barbecue Hall of Fame honors three individuals who have made outstanding and significant contributions to barbecue through extraordinary achievement and service. Its mission is to identify and honor the evolving history and traditions of barbecue and to preserve and document the heritage of barbecue in the world.
On September 2nd 2017, during the World Series of Barbecue held at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, celebrated culinary entrepreneur, restaurateur, and “Winningest Woman in Barbecue” Chef Melissa Cookston was inducted into the 2017 class of the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
An accomplished pro in a typically male-dominated scene, Cookston took home the 1st Place prize in the Whole Hog category at this year’s prestigious Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Contest held in Kansas City, Kansas. That win, owed in large part to Cookston’s innovative use of a hybrid hog combining the best characteristics of two different breeds, earned the chef her seventh World Barbecue Championship win.
“It is an honor to be inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame and to represent Memphis-style barbecue among so many outdoor cooking legends from all over the country,” Cookston said. “Congratulations to Jeff Stehney and ‘Famous Dave’ Anderson for sharing in this special occasion and to The American Royal Association for all they do to promote competition barbecue.”
Cookston, a Mississippi Delta native and author of two cookbooks, is also the successful owner of Memphis Barbecue Company, with locations in Horn Lake, Mississippi; Dunwoody, Georgia; and Fayetteville, North Carolina, as well as STEAK by Melissa in Southaven, Mississippi.
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.