Andrew Darneille, pitmaster of the Smokecraft Championship BBQ team and owner of Smokecraft Modern Barbecue in Arlington, has qualified to compete in the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
“We’ve worked so hard every day to cook the best barbecue that we can, and this invitation validates that we can cook with the very best,” said Darneille in a statement. “We are looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to compete against the best barbecue teams in the world this fall!”
“The Jack,” as those familiar with the competition refer to it, is the grand finale of the smoking season, toward which all barbecue teams aspire. More than 40,000 souls arrive in Lynchburg, Tennessee, each year for the championship. Teams get the chance to participate by winning a state championship with at least 25 teams, or a competition with more than 50 teams cooking in the categories of pork ribs, pork butts, chicken, and beef brisket. This year, Smokecraft will be among 76 domestic teams competing. Last year’s competition was canceled due to COVID, and this year, international teams will not be participating because of travel restrictions.
Smokecraft is the reigning Maryland State Cup champion team. With that win, it currently leads the MABA (Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association) tier 2 Team of the Year points. So far this year, they’ve nabbed two Reserve Grand Championships. The team qualified for “The Jack” with its Grand Championship at the New Holland Summerfest in 2019. Since 2018, the team has won more than 100 awards, with 26 top-10 finishes in 2021.
Want to cheer on Darneille and Co?. Make a reservation to be in Lynchburg on October 8 and 9. You never know which new dishes you’ll be able to sample before he adds them to the Smokecraft menu. 1051 N. Highland St., Arlington
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