Kansas City, MO - The American Royal Association is pleased to announce the 2021 class of inductees to the Barbecue Hall of Fame: Ollie Gates, Meathead Goldwyn and Rodney Scott. Additionally, two legacy inductees have been selected: Lyttle Brides and Arthur Bryant. The induction ceremony, presented by YETI, will take place on Saturday, September 18 during the 2021 American Royal World Series of Barbecue® at the Kansas Speedway and will honor both the 2020 & 2021 Inductees.
Election into the Barbecue Hall of Fame® is barbecue's top honor and recognizes the significant contributions to the advancement of barbecue. It serves to promote and encourage the growth and public support of barbecue by providing official and public recognition honoring individuals, living or dead, who by extraordinary achievement and service, have made outstanding and significant contributions to barbecue as a hobby, sport, and/or culinary experience.
Each year, three individuals are awarded the prestigious honor and are recognized by the Barbecue Hall of Fame for their significant contributions to the barbecue community and demonstration of achievement in barbecue excellence.
Additionally, the Barbecue Hall of Fame Legacy Category honors deceased individuals whose contributions to barbecue excellence helped establish the rich barbecue tradition we enjoy today. Barbecue is a centuries-old culinary art and this category will recognize individuals whose formative influence came before the modern era of competitions and food media.
Ollie Gates - Kansas City, MO
Restaurateur, Humanitarian, Celebrity Ollie Walter Gates was born in Kansas City, Missouri to George and Arzelia Gates in 1931. After years of school and joining the Army, Ollie came back to Kansas City and went into the family business at Gates Ol' Kentucky Bar-B-Q. The decision, in 1956, to build the first "ground up" restaurant, Gates and Sons's BBQ, heralded the beginning of the Gates' Barbeque Industry" which exists today. After his father died in 1960, he opened a jazz club named OG's on 31st Street and a Gates Bar-B-Q restaurant nearby.
Focusing on the restaurant and closing the Jazz club, he soon opened Gates & Sons restaurant in 1970. Mr. Gates continued to expand the business and emphasize a quality product, serving the food in a pleasant atmosphere and closely supervising the details of how the Gates restaurants would be run. Gates Bar-B-Q now has five locations, 200 employees and a state of the art training facility known as Rib Tech. He may not have invented Kansas City barbecue, but Ollie Gates is a major reason why it is renowned across the globe.
Mr. Gates is very involved community activities and has been recognized many times for business accomplishments, volunteering for special jobs and services, and philanthropy. Mr. Gates has had tremendous impact on the Bar-B-Q Community, staying true to the process of authentic barbecuing and being able to serve people who love the bones of bar-b-que.
"Hi, may I help you?" is the greeting every customer at a Gates Bar-B-Q location in Kansas City hears as they walk through the door. The experience is required to get a true sense of Kansas City barbecue culture.
Meathead Goldwyn – Chicago, IL
Media, Pitmaster, Author, Educator, Journalist
In 2016, Meathead reached over 15 million people with respectable barbecue and grilling information through AmazingRibs.com making it one of the most popular barbecue and grilling resources. His book, "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", released in 2016, made the New York Times Best Seller List along with top 10 lists at Amazon, BBC, Chicago Tribune, Wired, and Epicurious. His website AmazingRibs.com has been nominated for an IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Digital Media Award. Meathead first learned to grill from his father, a food technologist, and would often work the grill at the family restaurant, the Oleander. He would later venture into barbecue in college at the University of Florida in Gainesville learning on an in-ground pit and a cinder block pit. Along with his team, Meathead has explained how grilling and barbecue work from a scientific standpoint to an audience in the millions. He was the first to explain the cause of The Stall, and the complete science behind the Smoke Ring as well as create an innovative curing calculator, salt conversion calculator, and has debunked numerous old husband's tales surrounding barbecue.
Rodney Scott – Charleston, SC
Restaurateur, Pitmaster, Celebrity
Rodney Scott has been cooking whole-hog barbecue, over wood coals burned down from hardwood, since he was in middle school. For 25 years he worked with his family in their bbq stop in Hemingway, SC until 2017 when he partnered to open Rodney Scott's BBQ in the North Central neighborhood of Charleston, SC. In their very first year of operation the restaurant was named one the 50 Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit Magazine and in 2018, Rodney Scott was awarded the James Beard Foundation's award for Outstanding Chef Southeast. In 2019 Rodney Scott's BBQ opened a second location in Birmingham, AL bringing whole-hog, South Carolina-style barbecue to a different part of the South with plans for a second Birmingham restaurant and an Atlanta, GA location scheduled to open in the Summer of 2021. Rodney's hard work, friendly manner and respect from his peers has offered Rodney many opportunities to travel around the world and cook alongside chefs and pitmasters in New York City, Belize, Uruguay, France and Australia. He has been featured on popular television shows with the likes of Andrew Zimmern, and Anthony Bourdain. In 2020 Netflix featured Rodney in an episode of their acclaimed series, Chef's Table and he has just written his first book, Rodney Scott's World of BBQ. Rodney Scott has elevated the platform of Whole Hog Barbecue onto an international stage. When the public thinks of whole hog barbecue, especially South Carolina, Rodney Scott is always in the conversation of lists. In addition to serving outstanding food, Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ is committed to passing on the enjoyment, education and tradition of whole hog bbq to new generations.
Lyttle Bridges Cabaniss – Shelby, NC
Lyttle Bridges Cabaniss was born in 1916 and had a large family with 9 brothers and sisters. Lyttle lost her father at the age of 8, finished the 3rd grade, quit school, and went to work to help support her family. She worked in a mill for several years until she met her soon to be husband, Elmer Bridges (also known as Red) on a blind date. They married in 1932, had a son who died at age 2 and later adopted daughter Deborah Jane Bridges.
It had always been Red's dream to start his own restaurant, so him and Lyttle opend Dedmons Livestock Barn in 1946. Red trained with Warner Stamey, considered the godfather of Lexington-style barbecue. Red & Lyttle's restaurant moved several times, until it settled into the longtime location on Highway 74 in Shelby, NC, and changed the name to Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge.
Red died in 1966 and left Lyttle to run the business. She spent most of her days at Red Bridges Barbecue perfecting the recipes that have made the restaurant a National standard for pork barbecue.
Also known as Mama B, Lyttle is considered by many to be the first female barbecue entrepreneur in North Carolina. She worked until she was 80, and died in 2008 at age 91. She was a hardworking, serious, red headed ball of fire but a fun loving woman. She knew the business inside and out, plus she had all her employees working with pride She left the business to her daughter, Debbie, who is passing it on to her daughter, Natalie, and her son, Chase, making it a rare example of a female-owned barbecue restaurant for three generations.
Arthur Bryant – Kansas City, MO
Arthur came Kansas City to visit his brother Charlie Bryant who was working for barbecue master Henry Perry. Perry offered Arthur a job and he settled in Kansas City in 1931, Charlie assumed control of the barbecue operation in 1940 when Perry died then Arthur took over in 1946 when Charlie retired. Once Arthur was running the operation, he added molasses to sweeten Perry's vinegar based original recipe to the now legendary sauce and quoted, "I make it so you can put it on bread and eat it."
Now named, Arthur Bryant's, the restaurant's popularity grew when Arthur moved it to its current location, just blocks from the Municipal Stadium, which was home of the Kansas City Blues and then the Kansas City Athletics. It was also the first home to the Kansas City Chiefs. As the fan base for the teams grew, and visiting teams and VIPs passed through our city, passion for Arthur Bryant's Barbecue continued to skyrocket. Then renowned New-Yorker Author, Calvin Trillin declared in Playboy Magazine "…the single best restaurant in the world is Arthur Bryant's Barbecue at 18th & Brooklyn in Kansas City. Arthur Bryant passed away at the age of 80 in 1982 but his legacy remains. The restaurant stays true to the Bryant's values with unpretentious decor, fluorescent lighting, and big five-gallon glass jars, which you can still see displayed in the restaurant's window that Arthur used to mix and store his sauce in the beginning.
Kansas City, MO - A spokesperson for Arthur Bryant's Barbeque, a famous landmark eatery in Kansas City, MO, announced today that the organization had been a victim of a false post on multiple social media channels.
The post alleges that President Trump was "turned away" from Arthur Bryant's during his visit to Kansas City on July 24, 2018. Additionally, the post cited some negative remarks about the restaurant.
Arthur Bryant's management confirmed that no one had been contacted by Trump's advance team about a visit, and as far as they are aware – there were never any plans for the President to visit.
The restaurant is nationally heralded as one of the best barbeque restaurants in the country, and has served several presidents, famous athletes, movie stars, musicians and other VIPs over the years.
"We would have graciously welcomed President Trump in the same manner we have welcomed many other Presidents and legislators. At Arthur Bryant's we respect the office of the Presidency and we value all of our customers Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or other. Our barbeque transcends political parties!" stated Jerry Rauschelbach, managing partner of Arthur Bryant's Barbeque. "I guess we got our own little piece of Fake News going on."
I had just learned my first lesson of Kansas City barbecue the hard way: Don't just waltz right in at closing time expecting to be served. In my defense, I was coming pretty much directly from Kansas City International Airport, where I had landed on a Saturday night. I checked into my hotel, on the downtown Missouri side, and quickly crossed olkayser to Kansas to Slap's BBQ, which I had heard good things about. And while I arrived well before closing time, a sign greeted my arrival that clearly stated that they were open until 8 p.m. — or when they sold out, whichever came first. It had come first. I slunk back to Missouri. Read Article.
Home to the World Series of Barbecue, the nation's largest barbecue society and topper of national barbecue lists, it's no question that Kansas City knows barbecue best. Naysayers aside — we're looking at you Carolinas, Tennessee and Texas — we are confident that the following restaurants serve the best smoked meats in the country. We compiled the 'cue community's votes on which joints wear the 'cue crown in this town. But don't think of it as a best barbecue list; think of it as 24 more reasons why KC is the place to get your 'cue fix. Read article.
Smack-dab in the middle of the very first edition of The Kansas City Star (then called The Kansas City Evening Star), published on Sept. 18, 1880, is a story with the prophetic headline "The Grand Barbecue." According to the article, those early Kansas Citians were so elated at the completion of a long-delayed railroad connection that they held a parade, which culminated with a "grand old fashioned barbecue" attended by more than 3,000 citizens, and "celebrated in a manner and style peculiarly characteristic of Kansas City pluck and enterprise." Read Article.
What makes a rack of ribs excellent? Should the meat be falling off the bone? Be doused in a sauce? How tender is too tender? Is there a nice, well-seasoned "bark" surrounding the meat? The answers to these questions will vary depending on who you ask. Though Americans are known to love pizza, burgers, and the like, few cuisines light America's fire like barbecue. We take it extremely seriously, because as any 'cue connoisseur will tell you, it's not just about the meat, but also about regional identity, pride, and the journey to barbecue perfection." Read Article.
Kansas Citians, your barbecue is getting some tasty national recognition. Local favorite Arthur Bryant's made a Zagat list of the nation's best barbecue joints. The report praised 81-year-old Arthur Bryant's tomato-molasses sauce and its burnt ends and pork ribs." Read Article.
If you're lucky, the line doesn't stretch out the swinging screen door at Arthur Bryant's. Instead, it's just long enough for you to change your mind a dozen times while staring at the laminated articles on the wall, which cover the history of everyone who has eaten at Bryant's before you." Read Article.
Please don't tell the family this, but they're not the only reason I return to Kansas City whenever I can. I love them, of course, but I can talk to them on the phone. We can e-mail. We can Twitter, for crying out loud.
But barbecue is something you have to do in person. And it is best done here in the Heartland. Sorry, Santa Maria, no disrespect to your juicy tri-tip. Forgive me, Lexington, N.C. Your pulled pork is fabulous. And a tip of the hat to you, Memphis. Ribs at the Rendezvous are always memorable." Read Article.