Have you ever flown somewhere and had a stopover in a city and wanted to get a taste of that city's culture while waiting for the next flight? That's just one of the many things they're thinking about while they build the new KCI airport. And the airport, along with the Kansas City Barbeque Society and Old-World Spices & Seasonings is giving Missouri and Kansas Barbeque Pitmasters the chance to showcase Kansas City barbeque to the world at the new airport.

One of the best examples of showing off an area's local culture and food that I experienced while traveling was in Austin. I had a layover there once and enjoyed chips and salsa, and an ice-cold Shiner at their airport bar while listening to a local musician perform. And I could pick up a "Keep Austin Weird" T-shirt at the souvenir shop/newsstand too.

In Chicago, whenever my Uncle Jack would be flying through, he'd have to get himself a Chicago Style Hot-Dog at O'Hare Airport. And once, before 9-11 pretty much stopped the practice of visitors being able to meet the plane at the gate, I took my friend Chris over to the airport outpost of the Berghoff, an iconic Chicago institution serving traditional German cuisine while we visited between his flights.

So it's in that spirit that the prize for the Made for Kansas City BBQ Championship includes a purse of $46,000 and the opportunity to set up shop for a year at a barbeque-themed restaurant inside the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport.

The Championship is set for June 10-11 at Worth Harley-Davidson near the airport and The Outstanding Hospitality Management Group has partnered with the Kansas City Barbeque Society and Old-World Spices & Seasonings to present this annual contest.

“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,” said Milan Patel, president, and chief executive officer of OHM in a press release.

The idea is to hold the Made for Kansas City BBQ Championship each year, with the newly-crowned Grand Champion receiving a licensing opportunity for one year in an 8,000 square foot restaurant located in Concourse B of the new terminal.

If you're a pitmaster who wants to compete in the Made for Kansas City BBQ Championship here's what you need to know:

  • You must be based in Kansas or Missouri
  • Located within 60 miles of Kansas City International Airport
  • Be a KCBS registered pitmaster for at least one year prior to the date of the competition.
  • Have competed in a minimum of three KCBS-sanctioned barbeque competitions in the past three years.

Interested teams can register through the KCBS website starting February 14 at 9:00 AM CST. And registration closed on February 20 at midnight. All qualified entries will be placed into a drawing for 35 available spots. And the competition, as previously mentioned, will be held June 10-11.

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