Team from Nesbit celebrates Memphis in May BBQ Championship

By Chip Washington - bio | email

NESBIT, MS (WMC-TV) - When it comes to BBQ, most people consider the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest to be the best and the most prestigious.   In fact, teams travel from all over the world to compete in the Super Bowl of Swine.

This year, the title of Grand Champion went to Yazoo's Delta Q, a team based out of Nesbit, Mississippi.

"It's the granddaddy of all BBQ contests," lead cook Melissa Cookston said. "Pete's been competing for 22 years, and that's what you strive for. All the years of hard work and labor is to win the World Championship."

For Pete and Melissa Cookston, their daughter Lauren, and Melissa's mother Beverly, barbecue is not just a hobby, it's a way of life. The team cooks and competes 43 weekends a year, and has traveled all over the country.

In order to compete for the Memphis in May grand prize, teams had to win one of three categories.  Yazoo's Delta Q won the whole hog competition.  For Cookston, it's all about being consistent.

"The more you compete, the more consistent you are, the more successful you can be," she said. "If you're cooking every weekend, it's easier to win."

Still, this was only the team's fourth attempt at the Memphis in May competition.

Pete Cookston said the shock of winning has not quite worn off as of yet, but victory sure feels good.

"It really gives you goose bumps thinking about it," he said. "I actually was the best one that day, and we couldn't be happier about it."

The Cookstons were quick to point out that for the third year in a row, a team from DeSoto County was named the Grand Champion.  They say an upcoming appearance on the Food Network is also in the works.

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