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Meat Mitch in Leawood takes first place in World Series of Barbecue Sauce Contest

Mitch Benjamin, owner of Meat Mitch Barbecue in Leawood, has taken first place at the 35th Annual World Series of Barbecue Sauce Contest. This is big: Hosted by the American Royal,

Mitch Benjamin, owner of Meat Mitch Barbecue in Leawood, has taken first place at the 35th Annual World Series of Barbecue Sauce Contest.

This is big: Hosted by the American Royal, the World Series of Barbecue Sauce Contest bills itself as the largest such competition in the world, with hundreds of entrants each year.

The rankings: Benjamin’s Meat Mitch Whomp! BBQ Sauce placed first in the Vinegar Category and 20th for the title of “Best Sauce on the Planet.”

  • This year’s contest had more than 400 entries from 36 states and eight countries.
  • Each sauce was judged in a blind tasting based on appearance, texture, taste alone and taste on unseasoned barbecue meat.

Competition history: This is not Benjamin’s first accolade won at the American Royal.

  • He entered the barbecue sauce contest for the first time several years ago under the team name “Meat Mitch” after “suckering” a few friends to help him.
  • Entering the competition only for fun, he says, he went home that year before the winners could be announced, assuming that he did not place.
  • However, he later received a call notifying him that he’d won third place in the Brisket Category.

Key quote: ” We began entering competitions throughout the year and expanding our scope,” Benjamin said in a statement. “We’re still in for the fun. But don’t get me wrong – being named World Champion is pretty nice.”

Restaurant ownership: In 2014, Benjamin entered the restaurant arena with the opening of Char Bar Smoked Meats & Amusements in historic Westport.