Sizzling Summer BBQ Finalists

Announcing the Contestants for The Santa Barbara Independent‘s Third Annual Grilling Showdown

Now in its third year, The Santa Barbara Independent’s Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest received more entries this time than ever before, so slimming down the list of finalists was tougher than an overdone T-bone. But we chewed through, and present these esteemed chefs and mixologists, with the dishes and drinks they’ll use in the showdown. The winners — who’ll be awarded prizes from our sponsors Local Harvest Delivery, Rancho San Julian Beef, UCSB Arts & Lectures, RND Vodka, — will be announced on June 28.

Professional BBQ Plate

• Michael & Cheryl Gardner of The Burger Bus: 15-Hour Smoked Pork Butt, BBQ Sauce, World’s Greatest Cole Slaw

• Edie Robertson, caterer: Moroccan Flame-Grilled Chicken with a Butternut Coconut Milk Sauce, Multi-grain Pilaf, and Preserved Meyer Lemons

• Bob Hansen and team, SOhO Restaurant & Music Club: Baby-Back Pork Ribs with Kale Salad, Green Beans, and Bourbon Corn

• Aaron Robertson, The Savoy: Pulled Pork on a Bacon-Knot Challah Roll, Crispy Onions, Savoy Slaw, and a Side of Bacon-Bourbon-Maple Baked Beans

• O Street Truck: Dos Equis Steak Tacos with Provencal Salsa and Summer Pear and Melon Slaw

Amateur BBQ Plate

• Rodrigo Gimenez: Argentine Asado, with Whole Beef Picanha (Top Sirloin Cap) Marinated in Malbec and Lavender, Chicken Thighs Basted with Creamy Roast Vegetable Chimichurri Sauce, Matambre de Cerdo (Pork Flank Steak) Basted with Lemon Cream Sauce

• George Levinthal: Flank Steak Roulade with Sweet-Potato Mash;

L.J. Washington: Thai Coconut Red Curry BBQ Spare Ribs, Cranberry Apple Slaw, and Parmesan Grilled Corn on the Cob with Spicy Tomato Salsa

• Lily Zhou: Sweet Lemongrass Pork with Dried Shrimp Noodles

• Per Pettersen and Matt Hunter: P&M’s Slow-Smoked Baby-Back Ribs with Spicy Homemade BBQ Sauce, Santa Barbara County Four-Cheese Baked Mac & Cheese, Cast Iron Skillet Jalapeno & Honey Cornbread

Vegetarian BBQ Plate

• Emily Falke: California Green Grilled Pizza with Arugula Salad

• Edie Robertson: Flame-Grilled Pasilla Chili Filled with Mexican-Style Seitan with a Vegan Ranchero Sauce and an Organic Baby Red Potato Salad

• Cristie Schoen: S.B. Artichoke Stuffed with Cajun BBQ Tofu & Queso Fresco with Spicy Creole BBQ and Lemon Honey Aioli Dipping Sauces

Amateur Cocktail

• Emily Falke: Rita in Pink

• Michael & Cheryl Gardner: Southern Lemonberry

• Lael Wageneck: Cheers

• Sonny Chehl: Garden Variety

• Scott Wallin: Farmer’s Market


Cocktail Battle: Thursday, June 14, 5-7 p.m., El Ranchero Room at Harry’s Plaza Cafe. Open to the public. No-host bar. Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest Showdown: Friday, June 15, 5-7 p.m., Oak Park’s Sycamore Grove. By invitation only.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Volunteers in Policing Is Looking for 10 Good Men and Women

An eye-opening volunteer program at Santa Barbara Police Department.

Alvarado and Ford File for School Board

Mark M. Alvarado and Kate Ford registered to run for the Santa Barbara Unified school board.

Thousands Received DACA Relief After Lawsuits Filed

Renewal applications have totaled 117,446 since program suspension was overturned.

Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Self in Bathroom

[Update] The suspect in the Goleta Rabobank robbery has been identified as Keith David Goodwin, believed to ...

News-Press’ Found to Owe Union and Employees $2.2 Million

National Labor Relations Board puts money amount on employee losses since 2006.