Kansas City International Airport launches BBQ restaurant competition

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Kansas City International Airport (KCI) in Missouri has launched the first annual Made for Kansas City BBQ Championship, in which participants can compete for the opportunity to set up shop for a year at a barbecue-themed restaurant inside the airport’s new terminal.

The winner of the event will receive a purse of US$46,000 and a licensing opportunity for one year in an 8,000ft2 restaurant located in Concourse B at KCI. The menu will feature the award-winning recipes as part of the overall concessions program to celebrate local restaurateurs and showcase Kansas City businesses.

Additional restaurant features will include the Barbeque Hall of Fame with images, memorabilia and information about the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS), American Royal World Series of Barbecue and Operation BBQ Relief. There will also be the Meat Mitch BBQ dining experience in Concourse A with a backyard patio design.

This year’s Made for Kansas City BBQ Championship is set for June 10-11, 2022, at the Worth Harley-Davidson near the airport in Kansas City. Pitmasters who wish to compete in the Made for KC BBQ Championship must be located within 60 miles of Kansas City International Airport, a KCBS registered pitmaster for at least one year prior to the date of the competition and must have competed in a minimum of three KCBS-sanctioned barbeque competitions in the past three years (2019-2021). The drawing of qualifiers will be held on February 21 and will be shown on Facebook Live. Those chosen will be then notified by KCBS.

The Outstanding Hospitality Management Group (OHM) airport food and beverage concessionaire partnered with KCBS and the dry food products manufacturer Old-World Spices & Seasonings (OWS) to present this annual barbeque contest.

Emily Detwiler, chief executive officer of KCBS, said, “We are thrilled to help the OHM Group authentically tell the story of competition barbeque in the KC region to travelers coming to or passing through Kansas City.”

Milan Patel, president and chief executive officer of OHM, said, “When we think of Kansas City, we think of barbeque and OHM is committed to delivering a uniquely Kansas City barbeque experience to visitors at the airport. This competition, the winning pitmaster or cook team and the barbeque restaurant are the first of their kind anywhere in the world. Our commitment to ‘local means local’ is evident in our many partnerships to deliver the food and beverage offerings at the new terminal at KCI and extending into this competition.”

Pat Klein, Kansas City director of aviation, said, “From the inception of the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport we have been intent on having local flavor throughout the facility. Having competition-winning barbecue offerings that change each year perfectly fits the bill.”

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