Barbecue Throwdown

Chris Lilly and Pete Seghesio to compete at Massey’s on Oct. 21

Checking out a cooker at Randy Massey’s home as they plan for the Chris Lily/Pete Seghesio barbecue cook-off are, from left, Angela Massey, wife of Randy Massey and a New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center board member; Thad Cox, proprietor of Foothills Wine and Spirits; and Trudy Hughes, executive director of the New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center.

Checking out a cooker at Randy Massey’s home as they plan for the Chris Lily/Pete Seghesio barbecue cook-off are, from left, Angela Massey, wife of Randy Massey and a New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center board member; Thad Cox, proprietor of Foothills Wine and Spirits; and Trudy Hughes, executive director of the New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center.

On Thursday, Oct. 21, a friendly rivalry will pit a world-champion barbecue expert against a world-renowned wine-maker and New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center will be the real winner.

The Barbecue Throwdown will feature seven-time world champion Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson’s Barbecue in Decatur, Ala., against his friend and protégé Pete Seghesio of Seghesio Vineyards in Sonoma County, Calif. The event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the home of Randy Massey at 3817 River Vista Way in Louisville.

Tickets are $150 each, and planners are hoping for 80 to 100 people, the Masseys are hosting the event as a fund raiser for New Hope, where Angela Massey is a board member.

“We only have about 30 seats left, and, while it is $150-ticket, this is for charity. Nobody is making any money off this, and everybody gets world-champion barbecue,” said Massey, owner of Massey Electric and Cherokee Millwright.

Trudy Hughes, executive director of New Hope, said $125 of the $150 is tax-deductible, and tickets are available at New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center as well as Ashes’ Wine and Spirits in Knoxville and Foothills Wine and Spirits in Maryville.

Organizers say participants will enjoy getting the chance to enjoy some of the world’s best barbecue, along with wine from Seghesio Vineyards. Three competition judges will be on hand to decide who will take home bragging rights, and ribs that Lilly and Seghesio prepare will be auctioned off to benefit New Hope.

Massey said each competitor will do nine racks of ribs. “You can only submit one rack for judging, then the tables get to bid on the other racks,” he said.

Massey said no where else in the world would someone be able to get world-championship ribs. “Whoever buys these ribs are going to get world-championship ribs, and, unless you’re a rib judge at a major event, you’d never get to touch them,” he said.

Ashe’s Wine and Spirits proprietor Thad S. Cox said Seghesio is a Sonoma County, Calif., vineyard that is known for its Red Zinfandel. “They are one of the top vineyards in the world, and they have been growing grapes since the early 1890s. Zen and barbecue are the perfect mates. That’s why Pete has gotten into barbecuing so much,” he said. “Pete is bringing some special bottles of wine from the winery that they will auction off at the event.”

The whole idea for the event was born in January during a wine dinner Massey attended with Cox.

“Pete learned barbecue with Chris Lilly, a seven-time world champion. Pete and Chris are friends, and he has helped Pete with barbecue for years. Now the ‘Grasshopper’ has decided it’s time to take on the master,” Massey said.

During the wine dinner, Massey and Cox came up with the idea for a fundraiser for New Hope. “In the course of this conversation, we said, ‘Why don’t we have Seghesio Winery bring their wine, and we’ll see who can make the best ribs and try to help New Hope at the same time,” Massey said.

For tickets and information, call New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center at 865-981-2000.

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Comments » 1

jlaurieb writes:

Big Bob Gibson's Barbecue is a must stop on Alabama's culinary trail. To have Chris Lilly join a vintner from a long-established Somona winery for a fund-raising event in Maryville is a coup. Good job Trudy Hughes, Randy Massey and Thad Cox for bringing a great culinary event to Blount County! It couldn't be for a better cause.

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