Celebrity Judging Panel

In addition to the Kansas City BBQ Society double blind judging process we are adding a panel of judges made up of chefs and critics who will be publicly judging team entries of chicken, turkey, beef back-ribs and brisket.

This Panel will be held on the main stage and will be moderated and hosted by Simon Majumdar of the Food Network

Host / Moderator:

Simon Majumdar – Food expert and world traveler Simon is best known for his frequent appearances on The Food Network and for his best-selling books, Eat My Globe and Eating for Britain. He’s an author, journalist and a TV personality whose recurring role as judge on Cutthroat Kitchen, Iron Chef America and Next Iron Chef has earned him the title of Food Network’s “toughest critic”. See more about Simon here


Rod Gray – Pitmaster of Pellet Envy Competition BBQ & creator of EAT BBQ products, Rod is one of the most accomplished pitmasters in the barbecue circuit, his many accomplishments include Grand Champion of  Destination America’s Kingsford BBQ-Pitmasters.

Chef Michael Smith – James Beard Award Winning Chef and Owner of Michael Smith & Extra Virgin. Michael is among the nation’s most recognized and respected chefs.

Chef Celina Tio – Chef and Owner of Julian and James Beard Foundation’s 2007 Best Chef: Midwest. Tio has made a successful leap to television, competing strongly on popular cooking shows like Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” and Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”.

Jill Silva – Award Winning food editor and reporter with the Kansas City Star Jill is a well respected restaurant critic, food stylist and @ChowTownKC blog curator.

Fast Eddy Maurin – After 15 years of establishing a reputation as a winner on the BBQ circuit, he devotes his time to helping teams improve their performance and promoting the Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack product line.

Ardie Davis aka Remus Powers Ph.B –  Freelance writer and award-winning barbecue expert. Davis is also the founder of the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste Contest. The original Diddy-Wa-Diddy National Barbecue Sauce Contest was held on Davis’s backyard patio on October 13, 1984.

Andy Groneman – Teacher & Award Winning Pitmaster of Smoke On Wheels competition BBQ, while his excellent marinades aren’t kosher yet… Andy was instrumental in the creation of KC Kosher BBQ since day one!


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