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.


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