More than 160 teams competed this weekend in the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle, an annual staple among barbecue enthusiasts in Johnson County that had not held a competition with in-person spectators for three years.
Who won? The contest came to a close Saturday with Love 2 Q from De Soto taking home the title of Grand Champion, with Keith Nebel the head chef.
Who else took home ribbons? The Pirates of Bar B Que Bay team from Olathe was awarded the Reserve Grand Champion ribbon, essentially second place to Love 2 Q.
They were followed by Sublime BBQ of Olahte, which received Third Place overall.
Reaction: “[I’m] excited [and] euphoric,” Keith Nebel, Love 2 Q’s Head Chef, said. “Hot and tired for sure, but [there’s] just this adrenaline rush right now. [It feels] almost surreal. Sometimes I’d come really close [to winning] so far this year [at other contests]. I didn’t think it would be this contest, but it’s great it happened to be this one.”
Like old times: This year’s contest was a return to normalcy of sorts for the event.
- The 2020 event was canceled entirely during the first summer of COVID-19. Last year, teams were allowed to compete, but restrictions were put into place as the event was not open to the public.
- This year, the gates were open to the public and turnout was similar to pre-pandemic years, according to organizers.
- “[We] feel great,” Recreation Supervisor Sarah Hurst said. “It was a good event. It was good to be back out here at Sar-ko-Par Trails Park. We really enjoyed it and I think the public and the teams did as well.”