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Steak Cookoff makes its St. Louis debut at Wildwood BBQ Bash

By: Suzanne Corbett

No matter how you like your steak cooked, the cookoff is a special event visitors can enjoy during the opening night of the Bash.

Move over pork steaks, ribs and brisket. Steak has arrived at this year’s Wildwood BBQ Bash.

That’s right steak fans, your carnivore craving for the king of red meat has found its way to the competition barbecue circle thanks to the Steak Cookoff Association. Established in 2013 by Ken Phillips and Brett Gallaway in Bedford, Texas, the Steak Cookoff Association seeks to deliver consistency and what its founders considered a “fair shot” for competition cooks who love steak.

“The Steak Cook Off Association has completely taken the country by storm,” said Frank Schmer, Wildwood BBQ Bash founder and president of the St. Louis BBQ Society. “It’s interesting, because the steak category is not necessarily regarded as an outside category like a dessert or appetizer ancillary. It is seen as a related meat turn-in. Let’s face it, if you can cook a brisket or pork butt, you probably know your way around a rib-eye.”

Not unlike the certified judging requirements and guidelines established by the St. Louis BBQ Society for its four primary meats – pork, chicken, pork ribs and brisket – the SCA has its own guidelines for steak.

To judge at this year’s steak cookoff, one must be a certified judge; however, to become a judge one needs to take a class and get trained. Luckily, a class will be hosted this year at the Bash on Thursday, Sept. 21, the day before the steaks are set to sizzle. Those interested in becoming a certified steak judge will need to sign up online on the SCA website [www.steakcookoffs.com]. According to Bash officials, seats were still open at presstime, but the class is expected to fill.

Schmer said the public’s and competition teams’ response to the addition of a steak cookoff “has been crazy.”

“Kenricks Meats will be our supplier and sponsor,” Schmer said. “And with Jess Pryles attending as our guest pit mistress and traveling from Texas, the synergy is going to be great.”

With the advent of the steak cookoff, the Wildwood BBQ Bash can count itself among the SCA’s sanctioned events, which are held in 13 states, Canada and Europe.

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