Smoky ‘cue and brew delighted nearly a thousand chefs, restaurateurs, and foodservice professionals at the 20th Annual Championship BBQ and Cookout.

Held at the Chicago Illuminating Company on May 21, the Championship BBQ and Cookout benefitted José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The event was hosted by Barbara Mathias and Beverly Stephen of Flavor Forays and by FSR and QSR magazines of the Food News Media publishing group. 

Chefs from 14 of Chicago’s top restaurants faced off over flames to produce a winning dish. Marcos Ascencio (Bar Lupo) placed first with his “Lupo Bolognese Dog” and took home a Lynx Grill donated by Jade. Cory Morris (Ronero) was the first runner-up for his Latin-inflected grilled lamb chop with black mint and Peruvian potato and was rewarded with an iSi Rapid Infusion Starter Kit. Grills were fired up with pork aplenty, but lines formed for fried chicken and oysters, too. 

The Greater Chicago Food Depository volunteers lent their hands to the competing chefs.


  • Ajinomoto Windsor
  • Beam Suntory
  • Bigelow Tea
  • Chefwear
  • Constellation Brands
  • Easy Ice
  • Fever-Tree
  • Frost 321
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Jade Range
  • Johnsonville
  • The Perfect Purée
  • Smithfield
  • Sterno Products Sweet Street
  • Taylor Shellfish
  • Unilever Food Solutions
  • VerTerra


Chefs from 14 of Chicago’s top restaurants faced off at the 20th Annual Championship BBQ and Cookout, all to benefit worthy causes including World Central Kitchen and The Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Competitive Chefs Smoke the Night 

  • Marcos Ascencio | Bar Lupo
  • Jimmy Bannos | Heaven on Seven
  • Derek Campbell | Big Bricks
  • David Chapman & Joe Frillman | Daisies
  • Christine Cikowski & Josh Kulp | Honey Butter Fried Chicken / Sunday Dinner Club
  • John Coletta | Quartino
  • Marcos Flores | Latinicity
  • James Lintelmann | Baptiste & Bottle / Noyane
  • Aaron Lirette | GreenRiver
  • John Manion | La Sirena Clandestina / El Che Bar
  • Cory Morris | Ronero
  • Martial Noguier | Bistronomic
  • Tony Priolo | Piccolo Sogno
  • Stephen “Smokey” Schwartz | Burnt End BBQ
Events, Feature