Smithfield Congratulates Pitmaster Chris Lilly on Historic Win at 2017 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

Smithfield, Virginia, UNITED STATES

MEMPHIS, Tn., May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Pitmaster and World Champion Chris Lilly and his Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-b-Que team made history at the 2017 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest this weekend, becoming the first team in history to take home the top prize five times. Cooking with Smithfield Fresh Pork Shoulders, Lilly took First Place in Shoulder – his 10th win in that category – before being announced World Champion, besting 235 other teams.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Several Smithfield Pitmasters and Barbecue Alliance teams performed extremely well at the 2017 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest including:

Melissa Cookston of Memphis-based Yazoo’s Delta Que: A two-time World Champion at Memphis in May, Cookston successfully defended her title of “The Winningest Woman in Barbecue,” as she won the Whole Hog Category for the fifth time.

Legendary World Champion pitmaster Tuffy Stone and his Cool Smoke team also cooked Smithfield Fresh Pork Shoulders and were one of only three teams to make it to the finals. Cool Smoke finished third in the Shoulder category, another incredible accomplishment for Stone and his team from Richmond, Va.

In their first ever appearance at Memphis in May, Blues Hog Barbecue, a, combination of Shake ‘N Bake BBQ from New Haven, Mo. and Gettin’ Basted from Branson, Mo.,  placed fifth in Ribs out of 112 teams competing in the category.

Another Smithfield team comprised of the head cooks of several Smithfield Barbecue Alliance teams, Barnstormers BBQ, finished 13th out of 55 teams in the Shoulder category, cooking Smithfield Duroc Pork Shoulders.

“What an incredible weekend it has been,” says Emily Detwiler, director of fresh pork marketing for Smithfield Foods. “We had so many accomplished pitmasters representing Smithfield on one of the biggest stage s in competition barbecue. To have our teams win two of three categories and take home the World Championship prize, showcasing the quality of Smithfield Fresh Pork, we truly couldn’t have asked for more. Congratulations to Chris, Melissa, Tuffy, and all of our Smithfield Barbecue Alliance teams, and thank you for representing us at the 2017 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.”

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

Chris Lilly at Memphis in May

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