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by Rabbi Mendel Segal, Executive Director, Vaad HaKashruth of Kansas City

Anticipation is high as plans get underway for Kansas City’s First Annual Kosher BBQ Competition. This newest Kansas City BBQ competition is the brainchild of the Vaad HaKashruth of Kansas City and will take place Aug. 19 at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, 12320 Nall Ave., Overland Park, KS.

Why a kosher BBQ competition? Well, what better way to combine a great Kansas City tradition with a great Jewish tradition. Just as the act of barbecuing is a traditional way of elevating the meaty staples of a Midwestern diet, the biblical injunction to “keep” kosher is a means of enhancing the experience and awareness of the basic need, and basic joy, of eating. This contest offers a unique opportunity to honor and celebrate both traditions.

The event will include live music by the renown Sheldon Low and other musical entertainment, educational booths, a Kids Zone, kosher concession stands, cooking demonstrations, side competitions and more. Proceeds of the BBQ competition will go directly to the Vaad to help make kosher supervision more widely available to the community.

Rabbi Segal is looking forward to great event participation. “The competition is open to everyone, regardless of faith, background or BBQ skill level. All contestants will compete with the same type of smokers and selection of meats and basic ingredients.”

Teams will be made up of three to four people per team, with a maximum of 30 teams; so far teams from as far as Chicago and Kentucky have registered. The entrance fee, $350 per team, includes kosher chicken, ribs, brisket, and other ingredients needed, a new smoker, cooking station set-up, and a four-hour class with a BBQ master champion. Winners will be determined by a panel of professional BBQ and community judges.

The Vaad HaKashruth of Kansas City, located at 9900 Antioch Rd., Overland Park, KS, is a community service organization whose mission is to maintain a high level of Kosher supervision. It is composed of Rabbinic and lay leaders providing kosher certification, supervision, education and inspection for caterers, wholesale and retail food vendors, and food production companies in the Kansas City area and Midwest.

For more information about the BBQ Competition call 913.235.6077 or email Web, .