NEW YORK — Where there was smoke on Manhattan's SuperPier Saturday night, there was plenty of fire — and barbecue, too. Ten all-star teams from across the nation — including three from Texas — competed in the first ever Smoke@ICC competition at the prestigious 8th Annual Starchefs.com International Chefs Congress.
Austin’s team from The Carillon won the Grand Champion award and was recognized in several categories at the inaugural, invitation-only event. Headed by Josh Watkins, the Austin team included Plinio Sandalio, Chris Andrews and Brad Turner.
Celebrity judges included Steven Raichlen, Brad Orrison of The Shed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Kenny Callahan of Blue Smoke. A crowd of 500 tasters swarmed the event, which included the categories “New World” (lamb); “American Regional” (quail), “Asian BBQ” (pork) and brisket.
All contestants were required to use Sunchang Gochujang, a chili-bean paste from the event sponsor.
Houston restaurateur Ronnie Killen’s team won third place in the Asian barbecue portion of the competition. Killen's teams included Mark Gabriel Medina, Randy Rucker, Ben Rabbini and Teddy Lopez. The Two Brothers BBQ team from San Antonio took the prize for People’s Choice in the brisket category. The San Antonio team included Jason Dady, Jake Dady, Shei Mei and Estaban Valdez.