Memphis/ Fun & Entertainment
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Published on May 19, 2024
Memphis Celebrates New BBQ Grand Champion as Uncle Woo Turns 50 with a Smokin' Victory at SmokeSlam FestSource: Unsplash/ Paul Hermann

It's official, Memphis has a new king of the pit after this weekend's SmokeSlam BBQ Fest. Pitmaster Will "Uncle Woo" Hair and his SmokeMaster BBQ team smoked the competition, taking home the first Grand Champion title of the three-day barbecue bonanza, according to Action News 5. Judges from the Memphis Barbecue Network were reportedly impressed, bestowing the top honors alongside a hefty $90,000 prize.

Revelers gathered at Tom Lee Park might have needed a napkin to wipe away tears of joy – or maybe just excess sauce – as Hair's emotions ran high. "We’ve made a lot of large changes to our process in the last two months and they’re finally paying off, and I’m thrilled. I’m absolutely thrilled," he told WREG News in an interview that seemed to leave him at a loss for words.

An extra helping of celebration was justified, as Hair also clocked a personal milestone—turning 50 on the very day he clinched victory. The SmokeSlam Players band serenaded him with "Happy Birthday" as he hoisted the winner's trophy for all to see. "Nobody ever wins these things with a rib," a jubilant Hair remarked, as reported by Commercial Appeal.

The festival was not only a culinary showdown but also a testament to the team spirit, with Hair quick to credit his crew for the win. Despite the proficiency of his pitmaster's palette, he was seemingly awestruck by the outcome. "I can’t describe it. I really can’t. I’m a little lost for words," he admitted to Action News 5. Surely, as the festival's smoke clears, the triumph and $90,000 prize will fuel Hair and his team until the next year's showdown.