KC Rabbi Competes With Kosher BBQ

By: Laura McCallister
By: Laura McCallister
A barbecue competition in the Kansas City metro seemingly happens any day of the week. A competition with a team led by a rabbi is a different story.

Rabbi Mendel Segal of team RaBBi-Q competed in a barbecue competition in Liberty, Missouri. (KCTV)

LIBERTY, Mo. (KCTV) -- All over Kansas City people are firing up barbecue grills and cooking up all kinds of great food.

There is at least one grillmaster who is out to prove that great barbecue can be kosher.

A barbecue competition in the Kansas City metro seemingly happens any day of the week. A competition with a team led by a rabbi is a different story.

"Never seen it before, very interested and curious about it. So, man, it looks like it's some good stuff. Look at all the ingredients, it looks like they're doing some good stuff out here," said DeMarcus Maple of Liberty.

"People will go, 'Oh, you can't really do kosher barbecue. You can't be a rabbi and barbeque.' Well why not? We've got brisket. Brisket is a kosher cut of meat, as long as it comes from a kosher-slaughtered cow, then we're good. There's chicken and turkey," said Rabbi Mendel Segal of team RaBBi-Q.

Segal is in his second year of barbecuing competitively and it can be tough for him because finding kosher meat is only the first hurdle.

"We can't do any dairy ingredients in our meat barbecue, so butter is a huge ingredient for a lot of teams. All sorts of different injections that are loaded with non-kosher meats or dairy and meats. Weigh in some rubs. I can't use any of that stuff," he said.

Even though he is participating in the Kansas City Barbeque Society competition, Segal can't touch the pork, which is a major category for judges. That's where his Christian teammate Duane Daugherty comes in, with ribs and understanding.

"When we wash our dishes, we wash them in separate buckets. Those kinds of things are the biggest adjustment. I'm going to cook my pork the way I cook pork and I'm going to do it the way I ordinarily do it for any competition. The biggest thing is that I maintain that level of respect for his kosher equipment and his kosher product," Daugherty said.

The teammates say they'd love to win the competition, but it's really not about coming in first for them. It's about opening mouths to barbecue and minds to kosher.

Team RaBBi-Q's chicken got 11th place.

Posted by: Nick Viviani


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