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On April 19th, 21 of the country’s best pitmasters gathered in the gymnasium of the Food Science Academy of Long Island University to compete for the title of 2017 Brisket King. The annual event, created by Jimmy Carbone (Host of Beer Sessions Radio and Owner of Jimmy’s No. 43), has celebrated barbecue for six years and welcomed some of the biggest names in the meat industry.

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The panel included eight of the country’s barbecue aficionados. Among the judges was Jake Dell (Owner of New York’s most beloved deli, Katz’s), Daniel Vaughn (a barbecue historian and critic for Texas Monthly Weekly), Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Mory Thomas of the Food Network and food writer Peter Kaminsky. Smoked Pastrami, bacon bombs, and brisket sliders were just of few of the delicious dishes served to judges.

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Judging took place in one hour, before the general public was permitted to enter the tasting event. The panel only had two minutes to taste and discuss each dish, which at times felt like a brisket frenzy. After tasting dishes from all 21 chefs, the judges presented the 2017 Brisket King title to kosher pitmaster Sruly Eidelman of Izzy’s BBQ Addiction in Crown Heights. Less than two days after the end of the Jewish holiday, Passover, Eidelman found time to prepare not one, but three types of meat for the judges. His house-cured pastrami sandwich with horseradish mayonnaise featured a dairy-free bun that was an incredible accomplishment on its own. The slider was paired with beer braised bacon cabbage with grainy mustard. Eidelman’s double plate plan was ambitious, but he was able to pull it off while still adhering to his religious dietary restrictions.  

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This year’s event brought in 500 hungry meat-eaters to the Food Sciences Academy of Long Island University in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Carbone also presented an official proclamation by Brooklyn president Eric Adams that April 19 would forever be known as Brooklyn Brisket Day.

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Photos by Miguel Rivas, courtesy of Jimmy Carbone.

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