Welcome to the Super Bowl of BBQ! When Chris was out here doing his last class, he invited us to come help cook on his team. It was an opportunity we could not pass up. Not only were we going to the Royal but we were going to be cooking with the nine time winner Chris Marks!
On the way to the American Royal. We crossed over the Christopher S. Bond Bridge. Not only is the bridge functional, it is a work of art. It opened in 2007 and was built to replace the Paseo Bridge. You can read the full Wiki article here if you are interested in learning more about it.
We stopped at the the SmokeHouse BBQ restaurant for some lunch. It was pretty ordinary BBQ, however our waitress was really nice and went out of her way to make our visit enjoyable.
While Chris drove us to the event he explained how the weekend would unfold. He was truly a generous Southern host.
Pulling into the parking lot we saw this awesome old Kansas City Live Stock Exchange building. The inside has been completely renovated and is used as office space these days. The official website has some good information about it’s history.
The BBQ Legend Chris Marks and his son Christopher. Second and third generation KCBS competitors.
The American Royal Banner
The Awards Arena. This is where it all ends.
The guys had set up the tent, lights and football field already. We spent the next 6 hours setting up the rest of it. It was very quiet at this point as everyone was busy getting ready for the onslaught of people that would arrive tomorrow night.