Bringing the Heat: Melissa Cookston Discusses Being a 7x World Champion Pitmaster & Her Philanthropy

Host Andrew Bartolotta sits down with 7-time world barbecue champion, owner of Memphis BBQ Company and The BBQ All-Stars, Author of two cookbooks, and celebrated Southern Delta Chef, Melissa Cookston to discuss her passion for barbecue, being a trailblazing female food entrepreneur, and more.

During the conversation, Melissa talks about creating the World Jr. BBQ League, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the world of competition barbecue to teenagers by nurturing young minds and teaching them important leadership skills through culinary contests. She also shares some of her tips on being a serial entrepreneur and why you should love what you do.

Watch Cookston back as a Judge on Season 2 of Netflix’s The American Barbecue Showdown, premiering May 26, 2023.

Learn more about the grill’s best friend, Melissa Cookston and her ventures at

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