There are as many styles of barbecue as there are United States (yes, even Florida has its own), and the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is your chance to take a culinary tour of our great nation's grilling scene.
Going strong since 2002, the 2018 edition of Manhattan's biggest outdoor grilling party takes place June 9 & 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Madison Square Park. What began as a casual one-block party has since grown to take over the entire park, with 15 pitmasters from all over the country rubbing, smoking and grilling meat all weekend.
We're talking some of the most award-winning barbecue in the country. The James Beard Foundation just bestowed its highest honor on South Carolina barbecue legend Rodney Scott, and 15-time World Barbecue Champion Chris Lilly of Alabama will also be representing. A handful of our own local brag-worthy restaurants are setting up their pits too — look for Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest (formerly the nose-to-tail queens of White and Gold Butchers) to do something special for the event.
Dessert is covered by several vendors — think fried pies and five-layer Rainbow Cakes — plus beer and wine tents and tons of live music all weekend.
The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party remains free to attend, with each pit serving $12 plates of goodness. For the most ambitious, the FastPass ($125) gets two people into an express lane at every vendor, with $100 of the ticket price redeemable for food and drinks. Throw in an open bar in the park with the Big Rig VIP Pass ($275).
Here’s the full lineup of pitmasters coming to the 2018 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party:
Joe Duncan, Baker’s Ribs (Dallas)
St. Louis Ribs with Jalapeño Cole Slaw
Jonathan Fox & Justin Fox, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q (Atlanta)
Brisket & Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage with Jalapeno Slaw & Pickles
Sam Jones, Skylight Inn/Sam Jones BBQ (Ayden, North Carolina)
Eastern NC Whole Hog Sandwich with Sweet Slaw
Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que (Decatur, Alabama)
World Championship Pulled Pork Sandwich with Spicy Mustard Coleslaw
Pat Martin, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Nashville)
West Tennessee Whole Hog Sandwich with Coleslaw
Mike Mills & Amy Mills, 17th St. BBQ (Murphysboro, Illinois)
Apple City Barbecue Baby Back Ribs with Tangy Pit Beans
Ed Mitchell & Ryan Mitchell, Que at the Creek (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Eastern NC Whole Hog Sandwich with Slaw
Garry Roark & Leslie Roark Scott, Ubon’s Barbeque (Yazoo City, Missouri)
Mississippi Chicken Wings with Bloody Mary Cucumber Salad
Scott Roberts, Salt Lick BBQ (Driftwood, Texas)
Brisket & Sausage with Sesame Coleslaw
Rodney Scott, Rodney Scott’s BBQ (Charleston, South Carolina)
St. Louis Ribs with Coleslaw
John Wheeler, Memphis Barbecue Co. (South Haven, Missouri)
Baby Back Ribs with Mamma June’s Baked Beans
Ash Fulk, Hill Country BBQ (Manhattan)
Brisket Sandwich with House Pickle & Coleslaw
Jean-Paul Bourgeois, Blue Smoke (Manhattan)
Fried Smoked Chicken with Tabasco-Spiked Honey, Broccoli & Black Eyed Pea Salad
Billy Durney, Hometown BBQ (Brooklyn)
Chopped Brisket & Jalapeño Cheddar Link Sandwich with Queso and Tater Tots
John Stage, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Manhattan)
St. Louis Ribs with BBQ Beans