Barbecue Summit & Cookoff

February 9 - 10, 2024 Lenoir County Livestock Arena Kinston


  1. Mark Copeland
  2. Matt Jones
  3. John Moody
Cooks, judges and festival organizers are invited to join us for our sixth annual day of learning, fellowship, whole hog barbecue and our third summit cookoff!

Current and prospective judges: Not only is this your chance for a refresher or to get on the path to being a sanctioned judge, it’s a chance to meet a few festival organizers, too, and show your enthusiasm for the coveted position of barbecue judge! To stay on the judges list, you need to attend the summit at least every two years if you are not actively judging.

Cooks: Judges on the Whole Hog Barbecue circuit are tough! This is your chance to get clarifications on the rules and learn exactly what the judges are looking for.

Early bird registration is $20. The cost will go up to $25 on Feb. 6. (REGISTRATION )

Festival organizers: We’ve noticed that not everyone is on the same page when it comes to current rules and information. So this is a chance for you to learn what you need to know and get to know others. While we might all host a competition, there isn’t a competition amongst festivals. We all want to succeed! FREE REGISTRATION for all organizers who sign up by Jan. 21, 2024. Also, bring registration forms and pass them out to cooks for on-site sign ups!

Agenda (subject to change)

8:30 – 9 a.m.  Registration

9 a.m.   Welcome and introductions (auditorium)

9:15 a.m. Cookoff judging

  • Kenneth Clark
  • Mark Copeland
  • David Grandy
  • Matt Jones
  • John Kantenwein
  • John Moody
  • Billy Narron
  • Richard Skinner
  • Diane Wessner
  • Randall White

11 a.m. Rules clinic – Review of rules and regulations

12 p.m. Food Safety Clinic (auditorium)

12:30 p.m. Cookoff Awards Presentation

1:30 p.m. Last chance for questions / cooks adjourn
Organizers Meeting

3:00 p.m. Organizers adjourn

Need a place to stay? Check out for local hotel options.



Jen Kendrick