KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The grand prize in a new barbeque competition announced Tuesday goes far beyond the average prize money and bragging rights.

The winner of the “Made For Kansas City BBQ Championship” will decide the menu at a brand new restaurant inside the new Kansas City International Airport terminal.

This competition isn’t open to everyone. It’s intended for pitmasters who are registered with the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) who have been competing regularly over the past three years.

Here’s another key part: That pitmaster has to be located within 60 miles of the airport.

Richard Fergola helps run the KC Grilling Company in Olathe. He’s also the pitmaster for Fergolicious BBQ and said he typically drives to out-of-town competitions but he has flown in the past.

“Really I have a Yeti soft cooler, and I just put all my meat in there and put it in the overhead,” Fergola said.

Last November, Fergola was named Grand Champion at the KCBS World Invitational. Now he’s turning his sights on the competition that could get his food before a larger audience in the new KCI terminal, which is slated to open in 2023.

But the contest will be fierce, involving serious competitors with silly names.

“‘Meat Rushmore.’ We got ‘All Forked Up for ‘Cue.’ We got ‘Boom Chicka Cow Cow.’ We got ‘Happy Grill-more,'” he said, listing barecue team names that his business sponsors — but that he also feels could be contenders in the competition.

“I think it’s a very unique opportunity. I think you could do some cool stuff with it. There’s going to be a lot of media surrounding that,” Fergola said.

“We’re predicting that we’ll have $6-8 million in revenue of food sales for the restaurant. And they’ll get a 1% royalty off the food sales,” said Amy Jungk, executive vice president of Strategic Relations at Old World Spices.

Jungk, who’s helping coordinate the competition, said that royalty could be $60,000-80,000 on top of the $25,000 in prize money.

Food from the winner — brisket, pork, ribs, and chicken — will dictate the recipes used at the restaurant. Pitmasters, however, will not have to run the restaurant.

“Well a lot of competition pitmasters, you have to understand, have day jobs,” Jungk said.

“Some of them do own restaurants, but a lot of them just have this as their hobby and their passion. And maybe they don’t know how to get started or take that first step to go into business for themselves. So whether this is a catalyst for them to open their own restaurant or have a food truck, maybe it’s a way for them to get their own brand of BBQ sauce and rubs out on the market,” Jungk said.

But, food focused, Fergola said the menu could really expose people to something different.

“In competition barbeque, as opposed to restaurant barbeque, the competition judge is going to take one bite and write down a score. Whereas if I’m in a restaurant, I’m going to keep eating, you know what I mean?” Fergola said.

“And then I’m going to make my judgment in my head: ‘This place is awesome’ or ‘It’s not,'” Fergola said.

Entries for this competition will be pulled lottery style from the likely long list of people who enter online. From that, 36 pitmasters will be slated to compete near the airport at Worth Harley-Davidson on June 10-11.

The competition is planned to be an annual event so the menu will very likely be swapped out every year with a new winner’s menu.

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