Locals have another reason to be Houston proud.
Barbecue guru Ronnie Killen, alongside an all-star team that included chefs Teddy Lopez, Gabriel Medina and Randy Rucker, earned big honors at the First Annual StarChefs.com SMOKE@ICC barbecue competition, presented by Chung Jung One. Killen and friends were one of 10 troupes from around the country who attempted to wow a panel of knowledgeable judges, among them Kenny Callaghan of Blue Smoke in New York, Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 in Boston and Brad Orrison of The Shed in Mississippi.
Ultimately, Killen came in third place for best barbecue in the national food competition. The grand prize — a trip to Korea, an MLR 150 competition-level smoker and a spot at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas — went to Austin's The Carillon.
The competition was part of the International Chefs Congress, a three-day culinary event in New York that welcomed 140-plus industry professionals from all over the country for workshops, demonstrations, lectures and hands-on seminars.
Sure, the honor is nice, but do we really need a bunch of Yankees to validate Houston's barbecue savoir faire?
Check out the KHOU CultureMap Moment (video above) for an exclusive interview with Killen.