KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The American Royal World Series of Barbeque kicks off on Friday, and two sisters from the metro are spicing it up, proving the competition isn’t just for the guys. With eyes on this year’s grand prize, they’re not just looking to compete, either.
This year marks the 13th time that sisters Betsy Masters and Allison Verman will compete in the World Series. They’ve never won the Royal, but this year they hope to stand out.
From their bright pink to their sassy mascot, it’s hard to miss the barbeque team known as “Squeal of Approval.” The sisters hail from the metro, but travel all over the country to compete for best barbeque accolades.
“As far as New York, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois,” Masters rattled off.
But there’s no place like home, and they’ve got their eyes on the prize at the world’s biggest barbeque contest, right here in Kansas City.
“Everybody wants to win the American Royal. That`s just a dream of something that a BBQer has. So we figure our chances are 1 in 618 this year, so we`re working on it!” Verman said with a laugh.
The 618 teams hail from 40 states and three countries, all competing head-to-head to who is best.
“We give away $95,000 in prize money, as well as trophies, and again, bragging rights,” event manager Kim Palmer said.
This year’s competition also includes new scenery, as the Royal has moved from KC’s West Bottoms to Arrowhead Stadium.
“It allows us to increase our footprint and enhance our competition for the competitors. It also gives us parking that we never had for the general public,” Palmer said.
Verman and Masters are excited for the change, and anxious to show off their cooking skills, taking on the guys.
“A lot of times people come up and say where are your husbands? Where are your men? No. it`s just us,” Masters said.
And proving girl power — and their skills on the grill – are stronger than ever.
“Gosh women are great cooks, so why not make the step over into barbeque and go for it!” Verman exclaimed.
The sisters also give back to the community by donating all their extra meat from this weekend’s festivities to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.