San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The Windy City BBQ Classic is in it's 4th year of bringing professional and "backyard enthusiasts" of REAL smoked BBQ together. The competition has been declared a state championship by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn – which makes it a qualifying event for some of the larger, national invite-only competitions such as “The Jack”! Upwards of 40 teams will compete this year on Saturday, October 11th at Soldier Field with the Chicago skyline looking on.
In addition, over 3,000 passionate BBQ lovers will attend to watch the competition, meet the teams and sample from over 30 of Chicago's top restaurants, caterers and chefs. Live blues music will play all day along with the opportunity to participate in sought-after cooking demos.
We are seeking volunteers! As a volunteer, you will receive complimentary training, admission to the event, food, beverages, and attire, and have a ton of fun, including a pre-event mixer with BBQ teams the night before the competition! In addition, there will be a volunteers’ only contest. Ballots will be awarded for hours/shifts worked and if you bring friends to help, too. Lucky ballot winners will win prizes like BBQ 101 Cooking Classes for two (3-hours, four-course meal included). The areas of support include, but are not limited to: attendee registration, sponsor relations, sponsor support, parking and attendee communications, security, judging logistics, stage and band support.
When & Where
The Windy City BBQ Classic
Jared Leonard, Pitmaster & Pit Professor,
Owner Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse
Jared Leonard has a life-long passion for cooking and entertaining, with the past decade being focused on authentic wood-fired BBQ. His culinary career began as a caterer, turned street festival vendor. After a few years on the festival and vending circuit, he decided to set his roots down in Chicago and open Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse. Rub's has evolved since opening 4 years ago from being just a restaurant, to being a BBQ Destination for food, education, and passion. Jared started sharing his passion for BBQ by teaching others in a class format in 2010. To date, he has conducted over 300 BBQ Classes – with over 5,000 attendees. He hosts classes 4-6 times a week in Rub’s Pit Room – adjacent to the restaurant. Jared focuses on providing a true “Backcountry Smokehouse” experience to BBQ lovers - he's one of the few pitmasters in Chicago cooking BBQ the old fashioned way, using only hardwood logs for fuel. His passion has fueled the desire to co-found the Windy City BBQ Classic – Chicago’s premier BBQ Pitmaster competition; WCBC is a state-championship BBQ event that hosts teams from around the country in an old fashioned pitmaster competition. “My goal is to continue to share my love for BBQ with as many people as will listen. Teaching people about the history of BBQ, the many styles of BBQ, and watching them get just as excited as I got when I first got into this - that’s what keeps me going. Spreading my passion only makes it grow. This is what I was put on earth to do – cook great BBQ for the people.”
Gary Wiviott, Pitmaster & Barbecue Life Coach
Gary Wiviott is a pitmaster’s pitmaster – a barbecue man who has found the sweet spot between talking the talk and walking the walk in teaching the art of barbecue. Since the release of Low & Slow in 2009, Wiviott has cemented his reputation as a respected barbecue authority – as the pitmaster of Barn & Company in Chicago, as a go-to expert for print, radio and television features about barbecue, as a barbecue escort for a taping of Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods”, as the creative force and emcee behind the sell-out monthly Pitmaster Dinner Series at Barn & Company, and as a barbecue consultant teaching private classes for home cooks, diehard barbecue enthusiasts and restaurants. Gary is co-founder of LTHForum.com, the Chicago-based Culinary chat site, co-founder of the Windy City BBQ Classic, and on the board of directors of Purple Asparagus and the Illinois BBQ Alliance.