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Here's the official invitation to the 21st annual Championship BBQ & Cook-Off.  This must-attend party during the National Restaurant Show is open to all industry personnel.  See you there!



The Championship BBQ & Cook-Off is an annual event held on Sunday during the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago that showcases local chefs and brings together restaurant professionals with manufacturers and suppliers.

Is it an industry party?  Yes, but it’s not held in a stuffy ball room. Is it a networking opportunity? You bet. Sponsors have the opportunity to show off their wares to as many as 1,000 industry professionals. Is it all for a good cause? Absolutely. This year the beneficiary is World Central Kitchen, a charity founded by celebrated chef José Andrés to eradicate hunger, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank. In the past the event was able to make significant contributions to Share our Strength.

The Annual Championship BBQ & Cook-Off is celebrating its 21st birthday and we are making it bigger and better than ever. The BBQ will take place on Sunday, May 20 during the NRA show in Chicago at Galleria Marchetti, one of the city’s premier event spaces.

Competing chefs this year include: Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno;  Cory Morris, Boleo, Gray Hotel; John Coletta, Quartino; Martial Nougier, Bistronomic;  Marcos Ascencio, Bar Lupo; James Lintelmann, Baptiste & Bottle and Noyane, Conrad Hotel; Ryan McCaskey, Acadia; Brenton Balika, Margeaux Brasserie at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago;  Tom Carlin, Dove’s Luncheonette; Jason Heiselman, Restaurant Associates.

The Championship BBQ & Cook-Off is regarded by food industry insiders as a “must attend,” high-powered networking event.


Each year the best chefs in Chicago face off over flames to feed up to 1,000 of the industry’s leading chefs and operators.

  • The BBQ also attracts many high-quality sponsors integral to the event’s success.
  • Barbara Mathias, former Food Arts publisher, founded the event two decades ago and continues to produce it along with her colleague Beverly Stephen, former executive editor of Food Arts.

The Championship BBQ & Cook-Off will continue a partnership with Food News Media, publisher of FSR and QSR magazines. Food News Media will serve as co-host by sending out invitations and spreading the word. They will also provide much deserved coverage for our amazing chefs by following up with stories both in print and online.


All photography courtesy of Nannette Bedway Studio, LLC.