Smokey D's co-owners Darren Warth and Shad Kirton are no strangers to barbecue competitions. The two have combined to win enough trophies and ribbons to fill their 2nd Avenue restaurant. Warth added to that ever-growing cache of awards this past weekend, when he took home the one award that had eluded him in recent years.
Warth returned home victorious earlier this week after winning the American Royal World Series of Barbecue Grand Championship and more than $17,000 in total prize money. Warth's win gains him entry into the 2014 Jack Daniels World Championship, the 2014 Houston Livestock BBQ, and the 2013 Kingsford Invitational. The latter competition pits the winners of the nation's eight biggest barbecue competitions against one another for a $50,000 grand prize in November.
Warth's Smokey D's team is competing this weekend at the Sam’s Club Regional Championship in Oklahoma City—a qualifier for the Sam's Club National Championship held next weekend. Kirton's team, A Boy and His BBQ, will then compete at the 2013 Jack Daniels World Championship in Lynchburg, Tennessee on October 25 and 26. Check out pictures of some of the Smokey D's co-owners' awards in the nearby slideshow.
In other award news, the Iowa Restaurant Association gave out their annual awards recently, and two of Des Moines' finest restaurant talents were recipients. Jeff Duncan was named the organization's 2013 Restaurateur of the Year for his work at Dos Rios Cantina and Tequila Lounge, Big City Burgers and Greens, Catering DSM, and the Temple for Performing Arts. Django's Johan Larsson took home the award for 2013 Chef of the Year.
In one other restaurant note, Baru 66's award-winning chef and owner David Baruthio is participating in the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this week. Baruthio posted on Baru 66's Facebook page that he was proud to represent the Iowa culinary scene at the event.