Championship BBQ and Cookout Marks 19th Year

Restaurant industry comes together to recognize emerging culinary leaders and support José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen

CHICAGO – On Sunday, May 22, 13 leading chefs took part in a competitive cook-off at the Galleria Marchetti in Chicago, organized by former Food Arts magazine publisher, Barbara Mathias, and digital media publisher SmartBrief. Marking its 19th year, the annual Championship BBQ and Cookout brought together over 800 professionals across the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industries in support of World Central Kitchen, an international organization founded by world-renowned chef José Andrés to seek smart solutions to end hunger and poverty.

The winner of this year’s event was Jason Paskewitz of Chicago’s The Blanchard and the runner-up was Cory Morris of Rural Society. Competing chefs included Tanya Baker of The Boarding House; Greg Biggers, Café des Architectes; Paul Fehribach, Big Jones; Kevin Hickey, The Duck Inn; Brian Jupiter, Frontier; Shaun King, The Dawson; Michael Kornick, MK; Thomas Lents, Sixteen Restaurant; Martial Noguier, Bistronomic; Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno; and Steven “Smokey” Schwartz, Burnt End BBQ. The judging was based on appearance, taste, texture and overall impression.

“We are proud to produce this world class event, spotlighting the tremendous culinary talent in Chicago,” said Barbara Mathias, former publisher of Food Arts. “We are equally proud to be able to bring together this community of the restaurant industry and suppliers, and to support such a worthy charity. We are looking forward to our 20th celebration next May!”

“This year’s competition was hugely successful in bringing together the industry to support an important cause,” said Chris Warne, publisher of SmartBrief’s food and beverage team. “We’re honored to again participate in order to give back as well as highlight the talents of emerging culinary leaders.”

World Central Kitchen uses the expertise of a network of high-profile and leading chefs to empower people to be part of the solution, with a focus on health, education and jobs. A 501(c)3 organization, it focuses its work in Haiti, Zambia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and the U.S. View a Q&A with José Andrés about World Central Kitchen in SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Food and Beverage.

Serving more than 300,000 senior executives, thought leaders and professionals in the food and beverage industry, SmartBrief is the leading online source for targeted business news and information. By combining technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief filters thousands of sources daily to deliver the most relevant industry news in partnership with more than 200 trade associations and professional societies, including the National Restaurant Association, American Beverage Association, Food Marketing Institute, Culinary Institute of America and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Photos of the event are available upon request or viewable through: A list of the event’s sponsors can be found at:

Carly Chomer, SmartBrief, 202-407-7864