Famous Dave’s, the popular barbecue franchise, has launched a nationwide search in partnership with World Food Championships to find the next great pitmaster with competitions in 15 locations—and it lands in Long Beach tomorrow.
The event will be free and open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. at Famous Dave’s restaurant at the Pike Outlets. The first 200 attendees will receive free samples, and anyone who attends can enter to win a Gateway smoker. For those of legal drinking age, there will also be free samples of Kurvball Original Barbecue Whiskey.
Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s, will make an appearance at the competition, which started in late May and will finish in Taylor, Michigan, later this summer. The Long Beach stop is the first of three locations in California; the competition will also be in San Jose on August 12 and Rancho Cucamonga on August 19.
At each event, six teams will be judged on their chicken, ribs and a wild card category—meaning they can cook whatever they want as long as it’s served on a silver platter—along with overall quality. Judges give dishes a score out of 100, and the grand champion wins $1,000 and qualification into the 2023 WFC Barbecue Championship in Dallas, Texas, in November.
There will be cash prizes for first through third place winners of each category as well.
Not all teams will be based in Long Beach, but some may recognize competitors like Your Behind BBQ, from the Food Network, and The BBQ Yard, which has been winning awards since 2019 and is based in the L.A. County area.
Famous Dave’s is located at 300 S. Pine Ave.