Melissa Cookston Serves Her Custom-Bred Memphis in May Championship Hybrid Hog in First Public Tasting

July 25, 2018

MEMPHIS, TENN., July 25, 2018, – Over 65 pork lovers grabbed their forks, and went whole hog recently at STEAK by Melissa in Southaven, Mississippi as Winningest Woman in BBQ and celebrity chef Melissa Cookston offered a gourmet, seven-course Pork Lovers Chef’s Table with the first public tasting of her Memphis in May championship created hybrid hogs.

“We had a memorable night hosting the Pork Lovers Chef’s Table and first public tasting of my Memphis in May Championship Hybrid Hogs recently at STEAK by Melissa,” said Melissa Cookston. “Only a select few have ever experienced my whole hog and I wanted to share this special offering with the local community!”

Cookston’s seven-course menu focused on all things pork, with the highlight a pig pickin’ from one of her own personal hogs cooked in the style that has won her five World Whole Hog Championships. Other courses featured recipes from her upcoming cookbook as well as some of her personal favorite items. Throughout the night, Cookston described each meal, discussed the recipes, and explained the cooking process for her award-winning whole hog.

Pork Lover’s Chef’s Table Tasting Menu:

  • Amuse
    • Smoked Chipotle Meatball & Sausage Meatball:
      • One fresh ground pork meatball seasoned and smoked over Cherrywood and glazed with Chipotle BBQ sauce. One fresh ground sausage meatball, seasoned with extra sage, thyme, crushed red pepper and course ground black pepper.
  • First Course
    • Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon and Chive-Truffle Vinaigrette:
      • Southern traditional deviled egg, then topped with chive-truffle vinaigrette and candied brown sugar and pecan bacon
  • Second course
    • Micro Pork Loin Muffuletta with Housemade Olive Salad:
      • Smoked pork loin, seasoned with Melissa’s Mediterranean seasoning blend, then sliced thinly and topped with prosciutto, coppa, provolone and house-made olive salad.
  • Third Course
    • Pork Tenderloin Anticuchos with Aji Panca Sauce:
      • Pork tenderloin marinated in chilis, cilantro and garlic, grilled and served with a Peruvian Aji Panca sauce and grilled cumin corn wheels.
  • Fourth Course
    • Memphis-Style Babyback Ribs
      • Southern Traditional ribs, served “muddy style” with Sweet Memphis Rib Glaze.
  • Entree Course
    • Whole Hog Pig Pickin’:
      • 200 + pound whole hog, specifically bred and raised for Memphis in May under Melissa’s oversight. These hogs are fed a special, organic diet and allowed free range throughout their life. Smoked “Competition style” for 24 hours over cherry, pecan and hickory wood. The hog was served with BBQ sides in a traditional Pig Pickin’ style.
  • Dessert
    • Bergamot-Nectarine Petite Cake:
      • Nectarine and Bergamot cake, with citrus “sneak” icing.
  • Southern Sides
  • Cash Bar available


Melissa Cookston explaining the cooking process for her award-winning whole hog:


Photo Credit: Chris O’Conner, Prodigi Arts

Pork Tenderloin Anticuchos with Aji Panca Sauce:


Photo Credit: Chris O’Conner, Prodigi Arts

Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon and Chive-Truffle Vinaigrette:


Photo Credit: Chris O’Conner, Prodigi Arts

Memphis-Style Babyback Ribs:

Ribs and Roses

Photo Credit: Chris O’Conner, Prodigi Arts

Award-Winning Whole Hog:


Photo Credit: Chris O’Conner, Prodigi Arts


Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 10.32.00 AM

Video Credit: Chris O’Conner, Prodigi Arts

Melissa Cookston Online:

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 a seven-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, 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. 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 a Brand Ambassador to both Pit Boss and Smithfield and is a frequent contributor to their communications and marketing efforts.


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