Scott Bieber of South Orange and his “Glattiator” team brought home a mess of great memories from the 23rd annual World Kosher Barbecue Championship in Memphis, but alas, no trophies.
Held Sept. 18 at the city’s oldest synagogue, Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth, the contest — billed as the world’s largest kosher barbecue event — “was tremendously fun and interesting,” wrote Bieber in an e-mail. “The Memphis community was very welcoming, and seems pretty tightly knit even across denominations.”
He added, “A lot of people took an interest in the team from NY/NJ/VA/NC” — the states members of his “Biebercue” team hail from. Most of the competing teams were from the South, but Bieber and New Yorker teammate Ethan Moeller weren’t the only Yankees in Memphis. According to Bieber, Marvin Rembo, an observer from a Long Island synagogue who has hopes of starting his own contest, was there as well. A Long Island event, Bieber said, would make participation a little easier for the Glattiators — and maybe the competition wouldn’t be so fierce.
A halal barbecue team from the Memphis Islamic Center took third place for their brisket. Top prize for best ribs went to the “Pickering Potchkers,” while “Grills Gone Wild” took best brisket honors. The baked beans winning team was the “Cow Towers.”
Daniel Unowsky, a NJ native who attended elementary school in Livingston and is a 12-year resident of the South, attended the festival. He was, he said in an e-mail, “very impressed by the sweet and tender brisket smoked by the Glattiators. They fit in well with the diverse crowds at the event.”
With nearly 50 teams competing, mostly from the South, “it was a really long day and we were exhausted at the end, but glad we went,” said Bieber.