Paul Wellman

Last week over the course of four days, nearly a dozen cooks, from professionals and to the simply passionate, came by The Santa Barbara Independent’s office on Figueroa Street to participate in the judging round of our 7th Annual Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest.

After way too many bites of smoked and grilled food, the panel of judges — which included a mix of Indy staffers and Food & Drink section contributors as well as additional chefs, brewers, and winemakers — decided to award four chefs with a slot in our grilling showcase on the evening of June 23, 5:30-8 p.m., at The Brewhouse.

Attendees will be able to try small bites of the dishes below, and then can vote on a “People’s Choice Award” for one of the cooks, who will be crowned toward the end of the evening. That’s also the same night we are hosting our release party for Well Read Ale, a collab beer made in a partnership between The Brewhouse and The Indy.

Tickets for the event are $15 and include a commemorative mug, a glass of beer, and the sample bites of food. Kids are $10, but they don’t get the beer! See

The 2016 Sizzling Summer BBQ Contest awardees are:

Emily Falke: For her gourmet-leaning “Umami Tri-Tip Tacos” with pickled beets, crumbled cotija cheese, and cilantro horseradish creme, served with black IPA-braised red cabbage and farro with grilled Meyer lemon slices and shishito peppers

“Neighbor” Tim Goebel:
For an expertly barbecued brisket served with snappy/smoky baked beans and the classic mac ‘n’ cheese.

George Levinthal: For his scrumptious “Kick-Ass” burger made with beef, chorizo, and cotija cheese, that was preceded with a grilled watermelon and tomato gazpacho and accompanied by a zesty mustard-infused potato salad.

“Texas” Rex White: For a traditionally excellent and overloaded dish of apple-hickory pork, sauteed green beans with bacon, and cheesy grilled squash, accompanied by home-pickled okra and his own mellow yellow and spicy red sauces, finished with a peach cobbler.

And as a bonus category of sorts, we will also be showcasing contestant Tony Figueroa’s dry rub. It’s called Figs Dirty Rub, so come have a taste of that on June 23 as well.


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