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Ignite the Conversation: An Exploration into Chicago-Style BBQ

We’ve all heard of the classic BBQ styles from regions like Kansas City, Memphis or Texas-style, but what about Chicago-style BBQ? From Rib tips to Hot Links to Mild Sauce and more, Chicago Chef and Pitmaster Dominique Leach of the Black-Women-Queer-Owned and award-winning restaurant Lexington Betty’s Smokehouse, and the 2023 winner and the current reigning “MASTER OF ‘CUE” of the Food Network’s Hit Show BBQ Brawl is making it her mission to define this unique style further and put it on the map in 2024. And now, she’s calling on a few more experts to help! Join us for “Ignite the Conversation: An Exploration into Chicago-style BBQ”, an educational panel and BBQ tasting with chef legends from throughout Chicago and top local journalists to lead a discussion on the origins of Chicago-style BBQ, its variations, and its future. To moderate the discussion, she has tapped Catherine Lambrecht of the Culinary Historians of Chicago with proceeds of this event to be made to their American Midwest Scholarship fund which provides financial support for the study of Midwestern foods and food-related institutions.

Chef Speakers: Dominique Leach (Lexington Betty Smokehouse) – Brian Jupiter (Frontier/Ina Mae Tavern) – Daniel Hammond (Smoky Soul BBQ) – Ron Conner (U Want Dat Smoke BBQ)

Media Speakers: Journalist Monica Eng of AXIOS Chicago and co-author of Made in Chicago: Stories Behind 30 Great Hometown Bites & James Beard Award-winning food writer/video producer Mike Gebert of Fooditor


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