ABC Show "The Chew" to Feature Memphis Barbecue Contest

ABC Show "The Chew" to Feature Memphis Barbecue Contest

The smell of barbecue is wafting throughout downtown Memphis and the ABC hit daytime show "The Chew" got an inside look at the world championship contest from one of its biggest winners.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The smell of barbecue is wafting throughout downtown Memphis and the ABC hit daytime show "The Chew" got an inside look at the world championship contest from one of its biggest winners.

On his bio for The Chew it says host Michael Symon "has a passion for pork", so at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, he's in hog heaven.

Each of The Chew hosts is exploring barbecue cookouts across the country for a Memorial Day weekend special for ABC. Symon received the tough assignment in Memphis, and he spoke exclusively with abc24.com. "We're all going and doing things that we really love," Symon explains, "I came to Memphis because I love the hog, I love barbecue and everything that goes around it, and I think Memphis in May is one of the really special events that happen across the country."

This is his first trip to the competition, but he promises it won't be his last. "The smell of barbecue, there's nothing like it; to me it's intoxicating almost."

To Symon, the taste is the only thing that tops it, and there's hardly anyone who makes a better hog than Melissa Cookston from Horn Lake, Mississippi. "I've won Whole Hog the last three years in a row," Cookston says, "I've won the Grand Championship in 2010 and in 2012."

The secrets of the pork princess will be unveiled on The Chew's upcoming special. Symon says he'll return to Memphis in May next year, but not to compete. "I love to cook, it's what I do everyday of my life," Symon says, "but occasionally you like to just come and enjoy. I love the barbecue, I love the smoke, but to be here with Melissa and Mike Mills and all these wonderful people and get to taste what they are the masters of, this is a special thing."

The Chew's Ultimate Barbecue Cookout Countdown will air Saturday, May 25th at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

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