Smithfield Congratulates 2017 Inductees Into Barbecue Hall of Fame

Smithfield, Virginia, UNITED STATES

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Barbecue Hall of Fame announced today the induction of three pitmasters and barbecue personalities into this year’s class. Smithfield, a proud supporter of competition barbecue, is pleased to congratulate new inductees Melissa Cookston, Jeff Stehney, and “Famous Dave” Anderson. Smithfield is especially excited to welcome Melissa and Jeff into the Hall of Fame in 2017 as both serve as champion pitmaster ambassadors for Smithfield on the competition barbecue circuit.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

Smithfield Champion Pitmaster Melissa Cookston is “The Winningest Woman in Barbecue,” a title she defended just this past weekend, taking home her fifth Whole Hog World Champion title at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, TN. Melissa’s other accomplishments include Grand Champion at the 2012 Kingsford Invitational, four successful restaurants, and two best-selling cookbooks, Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room and Smokin’ Hot in the South. As one of the few women competing in the sport, Melissa has inspired a generation of young women to try their hands at competition barbecue.

Jeff Stehney is a restaurateur, pitmaster, and veteran cook on the competition circuit, with a career that spans more than 25 years. Jeff and his wife Joy cooked their first contest in 1990 and soon formed a few friends together to create The Slaughterhouse Five. As a team, Slaughterhouse Five took home many awards including 1993 KCBS Team of the Year, 1993 and 1996 American Royal Grand Champion, and the 1995 Jack Daniel’s World BBQ Championship Reserve Grand Champion. Jeff and Joy are also the proprietors of the Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que family of restaurants.

“Famous Dave” Anderson is the founder of the Famous Dave’s chain of barbecue restaurants, beginning with the flagship, which opened in Hayward, WI in 1994. In the ensuing 23 years, Famous Dave’s has grown to more than 180 locations nationwide, with additional locations in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Abu Dhabi. Dave has two award-winning cookbooks, Rib-O-Licious and Famous Dave’s Barbecue Party Cookbook.

Widely considered one of the most prestigious honors in the sport, induction into the Barbecue Hall of Fame is given to three people each year: one barbecue pitmaster, one person representing the barbecue industry in general, and one celebrity or humanitarian. Melissa, Jeff, and Dave will join past honorees including Smithfield Champion Pitmaster Chris Lilly, Guy Fieri, Steven Raichlen, and Pat Burke. A ceremony honoring this year’s inductees will take place at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue® over Labor Day weekend at the Kansas Speedway.

About Smithfield
A leading provider of high-quality pork products, Smithfield was founded in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia. From hand-trimmed ribs, loins and bacon and slow-smoked holiday hams to marinated tenderloins, Smithfield brings artistry, authenticity and a commitment to heritage, flavor, and handcrafted excellence to everything it produces. With a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts, the company services retail, foodservice, and deli channels across the United States and 30 countries abroad. All of Smithfield's products meet the highest quality and safety standards in the industry. To learn more about how Flavor Hails from Smithfield, please visit,, and  Smithfield is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly’s®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

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