Rubs, ribs, and remoulade: Chefs show off their BBQ chops in Memphis

The smell of wood fire wafting on the breeze is the first sense that gets triggered at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, where smoke is as essential an ingredient as salt.

For the teams that annually compete at the so-called Super Bowl of Swine, they’ve elevated backyard barbecue to fine dining under the sun, incorporating techniques passed on from generation to generation and creating a multi-cultural community united by food.

Held last weekend as part of the Memphis in May International Festival, the annual cooking contest has also connected people across borders as food culture, both online and in-person, has spread the word about the popular event for world-class pitmasters.

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