February 29, 2024


Seven-time World Barbecue Champion Melissa Cookston has been announced as one of three barbecue experts to feature at the Open Fire Food Festival by Steve Harvey, which takes place on February 24th-25th at Yas Marina Circuit.

Presented by MELT Middle East, a joint venture between OWS Capital and Steve Harvey Global, the event will feature a star-studded line-up of highly skilled global grilling authorities as Cookston joins Moe Cason and Steven Raichlen, who have already been announced, with more big names to follow.

The highly talented and hugely respected Cookston, who hails from Mississippi, USA, has won thousands of accolades for her barbecue cooking, including seven World Championship wins from the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Since 2011, she has been serving her award-winning barbecue at her restaurant, Memphis BBQ Company.

A trailblazer in an industry traditionally male dominated, Cookston became the first female inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2021, Melissa launched a nonprofit called the World Junior BBQ League with the mission of engaging kids in BBQ competitions while teaching them life skills such as leadership, teamwork, and work ethic through fun and delicious competition.

She has written two books, Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room and Smokin’ Hot in the South, while also appearing on shows such as BBQ Pitmasters, Chopped and currently serves as the judge on Netflix’s Barbecue Showdown.

On being announced as the latest addition to the Open Fire Food Festival by Steve Harvey, Cookston said: “I’m delighted to be involved in an event which is specifically dedicated to the art of cooking barbecue, and it’s fantastic to see a popular global destination such as Abu Dhabi showing its commitment to the culinary industry.

“This is a brand-new event which will give open fire cooking enthusiasts in Abu Dhabi the opportunity to sample some amazing dishes, and I’m really excited to be a part of this incredible festival.”

Host of the event, Steve Harvey, added: “Melissa is a supremely talented barbecue expert and a fantastic addition to the line-up for this special event.

“The fact she has won so many awards over the years, including being crowned World Barbecue Champion on seven separate occasions, speaks volumes and we are delighted she will be showcasing her skills at the Open Fire Food Festival.

“With Moe Cason and Steven Raichlen already confirmed to be taking part, it’s a wonderful line-up of barbecue experts and there will be more big names announced ahead of the event.”

Tickets are on sale now with prices starting from just AED 60 for standard entry and AED 180 for VIP. Passes for the full weekend are also available.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.openfirefoodfestival.com/

Last Updated on 2 months by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers trending business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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