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Moe Cason and Pensacola Eggfest Competing at the World Championship BBQ Contest This Week

Moe Cason and team at the World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest at Memphis in May.
Doug Jolly, Moe Cason, Lisa Long Lyter, and Jerold Hall at Pensacola Eggfest, 2018. Photo: Camera and Flask

Need to chat with someone on the Pensacola Eggfest Team this week?  Well, I’m about the only one in town!

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Because it is the week of the World Championship BBQ Contest at Memphis in May!

While I (and when I say “I”, I mean my husband) am securing the left-behind grills in prep for this coming storm, the grilling team joined our dear friend, Champion Moe Cason on Monday afternoon with our newest trailer in tow.

The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (WCBCC) is the largest pork barbecue contest in the world and has been featured on the Food Network. The largest collection of championship-winning teams has arrived at Liberty Park in Midtown Memphis to vie for the coveted title of Memphis in May World Champion, and they lit the grills yesterday for the first time this week.

This year, 22 states are represented and four foreign countries.  The teams come prepared to compete in three categories:  whole hog, shoulders, and ribs. Moe Cason, of Moe Cason BBQ, is a familiar face in Pensacola as he has been a celebrity judge at Pensacola Eggfest eight out of the ten years we have thrown our BBQ party each November.

In 2013, I read about Moe Cason and his love for BBQ and sent him an unsolicited email explaining that we were planning a BBQ competition fundraiser.  I shared how we had a beautiful condo on the beach for him to vacation in if he would consider joining us.  He replied two days later, “Yes, Lisa.  Call me on Tuesday” and that was the beginning of what we now refer to as the birth of our BBQ family adding to the original crew.

This is the 46th edition of this beloved Memphis tradition and the Moe Cason team returns after placing 3rd in 2023 for shoulders (the field last year was filled with 300+ teams).

Moe is a straight champion by himself and is the winner of many championships (competing in over 250) along with starring on Destination America’s “BBQ Pit Masters”, “BBQ Pit Wars”, and “Smoked”.  He has also served as a judge on several Food Network shows.

When Moe packs up on Monday after the contest is completed, he will head to New York for his guest appearance on Good Morning America. He will be sharing with ABC’s viewers the stories behind his brand new, just-off-the-press cookbook that went live on May 7th.   His cookbook is filled with his favorite recipes.  It also offers the easy going, expert guidance he offers freely to those who want to learn how to cook perfectly seasoned collard greens and fall-apart tender Texas brisket.  Want a signed copy?  Stay tuned for details as he will be at Bodacious Bookstore and Cafe on June 22, 2024.

The Pensacola Eggfest team is in their 8th year of assisting Moe in his quest for an additional life-size trophy from the World Championships.  Leading Moe’s team as Captain is Doug Jolly (co-owner of Local Pulse). He is joined this year by Jerold Hall, Luke Gipp, Sean Norenberg, Schyler Sheffield and Kevin Winnegar.   Additionally, Michael Jeffries of the Big Smoke BBQ Company has flown in from New Zealand.  You may recognize the name and the man as he catered the VIP lamb dinner for Pensacola Eggfest this past year and you couldn’t stop talking about how delicious it was!  And Brian and Shelley Gurney of Bad Bones BBQ arrive this evening.

There will be many laughs, late nights stoking the fire, a few sips of bourbon here and there, and some professional-level name-calling.  And at the end of it?

My prediction is this…..the strongest of brotherhoods known as the Moe Cason BBQ team will be called to the stage to be awarded once again.

I am super proud of these guys, my BBQ family, and I don’t tell them enough.  Here is to bringing home the championship and some solid memories!

Cheering you on from Pensacola,

XO, Lisa