In honor of our first annual Cowboy Charcoal Fire & Ice Women in Barbeque Series, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the talented female pitmasters that are changing the female barbecue competition scene! We sat down with some of the competitors to find out more about their love of barbecue and what inspired them to compete. Get to know a bit more about a few of this year’s competitors below and check back as we continue to spotlight this year’s teams on The Roundup!
Kim Perry, Behind BBQ
Spencerport, New York
Kim has been grilling since the age of nine and has been participating in the competition barbecue scene for the last six years. Kim has a long list of awards under her belt and in their first KCBS Grand Champion win, Behind BBQ took home 1st place in Chicken, 1st Ribs, 2nd Pork, 4th Brisket and Grand Champion, Conquer the Grill 2016, Cloudersport, Penn. What started as a way to spend time with her dad evolved over the years into a hobby and barbecue business for her and her husband.
In addition to the fun of competitive barbecue, Kim sites the opportunities to learn and grow as a cook and as a person as some of the greatest rewards of competition grilling. When Kim is not competing, you can find her catering private events and fundraisers with Behind BBQ.
Beth Mewborn, J&B’s BBQ
Inspired by an episode of BBQ Pitmasters, Beth and her husband adopted grilling as a hobby before it quickly progressed to the realm of competitive barbecue. Both naturally competitive, Beth and her husband have enjoyed the “family” of competition teams that they’ve gotten to know over the last three years and love having the opportunity to cook for others.
As public school teachers, Beth and her husband hope to open a restaurant or food truck down the line.
Sylvie Curry, Lady of Q
Sylvie has been participating in competition barbecue for over 10 years and has a long list of awards to show for it. She started competing in 2006 with Four Q BBQ, where they took home the Grand Champion, Steam Engine, Vista Ca. A few years later, Sylvie decided to start her own team as the solo head pitmaster for Lady of Q, and has since received many first place and top five calls, including Reserve Grand Champion, Lake Elsinore, Calif., and Grand Champion, Guinea Pig, Indio.
After retiring from her job as a hospital pharmacist in 2009, Sylvie acquired more time to participate and travel to competitions. From the delicious food, friendships, and her highly competitive nature, Sylvie found competition barbecue to be similar to a sport. You compete, practice, form a BBQ family, and most of all, you do it because you love it.
Heather Sinyard, Crimson Q
Heather originally entered the barbecue world as an event organizer in Cornelia and Cleveland, Ga. After observing from the sidelines for a few years, Heather was inspired to step into the limelight and told her husband that she wanted to start competing. According to Heather, the two haven’t looked back since. Most recently, Crimson Q took 1st place in Brisket, and finished 6th place overall at the National BBQ Cup in Nashville, Tenn.
In addition to her passion for eating barbecue and working in the culinary industry for almost 15 years, Heather enjoys the competitive spirit and friendships she’s formed from competing.
Jennifer Lyons, Belly Rub N’ BBQ
Inspired to do something you don’t see many women doing, Jennifer quickly embraced grilling as a hobby after an episode of BBQ Pitmasters. Only in her second year competing, Jennifer and Belly Rub N’ BBQ have taken home many awards including 2nd in ribs, 3rd in pork and 8th overall at National Western.
When Jennifer first entered competition barbecue, she had no idea that it would be so addictive, but has enjoyed every minute of it. Jennifer is dedicated to learning more and being known as a “stud woman pitmaster”.
Jenny Windsor, Black Cat BBQ
Severn Park, Maryland
Jenny has been a national competitor for over nine years, and is the owner of Black Cat BBQ. From competing in national chili cook-offs to challenging her brothers, Jenny has competition in her blood and is intent on proving that girls can grill too. Jenny uses her grill more often than not for meal prep and is a firm believer that “anything you can make [on the stove top] you can make over charcoal – and it will turn out even better.”
Following a beginner class with Paul Kirk and accolades that it would be a “crying shame” if she didn’t enter into the competitive barbecue scene, Jenny entered the world of competition barbecue in 2009. Since then, Black Cat BBQ has won first place in every category except Pork. A passion for both Jenny and her husband, the two hope to one day open their own business in Eastport, Maine that combines the intersection of art and barbecue.
Kim Hicks, Midnight Burn
Hendersonville, North Carolina
From running a barbecue restaurant and wood fired pizza restaurant to competing, Kim has always loved barbecue. Originally from Michigan, Kim was voted the first female Entrepreneur of the Year for being the first to bring true Memphis Style BBQ to her area.
Kim first joined KCBS in 2007, and attended Memphis in May where she instantly got hooked on competing. Over the past few years, Kim and Midnight Burn have won several Grand Champions and many first place category finishes, including 6 perfect 180 scores. Kim enjoys the genuine, honest and supportive people she’s met through competition barbecue, and hopes to see more women participate in competitions.
Check out our blog and social channels for more information on the Fire & Ice series as these talented pitmasters grill their way toward a shot at $15,000 in diamond prizes and a chance to compete at the World Food Championships this November!
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