Melissa Cookston and her custom-bred hybrid hog win the 1st place Whole Hog title at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
MEMPHIS, TENN., May 20, 2017 – Melissa Cookston, the “Winningest Woman in Barbecue,” won first place in the Whole Hog category at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest Saturday at Tom Lee Park. It was Cookston’s fifth Whole Hog victory at Memphis in May, one of the most prestigious events on the barbecue competition circuit.
Cookston’s team Yazoo’s Delta Q has won Whole Hog five times at Memphis in May (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017) in addition to two grand championships (2010 and 2012). Her winning hog was a hybrid bred to her own specifications to achieve optimal levels of protein, fat, texture and flavor. She is believed to be the first competitor to use such a custom animal in the 40-year history of Memphis in May.
“To be the best, you’ve got to create the best,” Cookston says of her hybrid hogs. “Competition is in my blood. I’m totally addicted. Whole hog is the most challenging category, so of course it’s the one that we want to win!”
Cookston is also the owner of Memphis BBQ Company with locations in Horn Lake, Mississippi; Dunwoody, Georgia; and Fayetteville, North Carolina; and STEAK by Melissa in Southaven, Mississippi. She has written two cookbooks and has appeared on TV shows including “Today,” “BBQ Pitmasters” and “Chopped.”
“We are thrilled to take home another trophy from Memphis in May, which truly is ‘the Super Bowl of Swine,’” said Cookston. “There are so many great teams here and the competition is so intense that this is just a great honor for us.”
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About Melissa Cookston:
Melissa Cookston was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta and is a trailblazing female food entrepreneur smoking the competition.
Cookston is an 7-time world barbecue champion; owner of restaurants Steak by Melissa, a successful steak house in Southaven, Mississippi and Memphis BBQ Company, a successful barbecue restaurant with locations in Horn Lake, Mississippi, Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Dunwoody, Georgia; an author of two cookbooks, “Smokin in the Boy’s Room” and “Smokin’ Hot in the South;” and a celebrated southern Delta chef who is sponsored by Smithfield Foods.
Recognized nationally from many appearances on national news and talks shows as well as cooking shows and Food Network, Cookston served as a judge on season 4 of Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters,” and was named one of America’s most influential BBQ Pitmasters and personalities by Fox News in 2015. Cookston is sponsored by Smithfield and is a frequent contributor to Smithfield communications and marketing efforts.
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