The Kitchen Celebrates Great NYC 'Cue at BBQ and the Blues

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: (L-R) The Cast of The Kitchen Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey Zakarian host Thrillist's Barbecue & The Blues presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by the cast of The Kitchen during the New York City Wine & Food Festival at Good Units on October 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photo by: Brad Barket ©2014 Getty Images

Brad Barket, 2014 Getty Images

When it comes to great barbecue, our thoughts usually travel south – to Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, the Carolinas. But last night at the New York City Wine & Food Festival's Barbecue and the Blues, New York made a strong case for itself as a barbecue powerhouse. More than a dozen spots from around the Big Apple served up their best smoked meat and sides to hungry ‘cue fans, including the cast of The Kitchen: Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid, Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee.

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Food on display at Thrillist's Barbecue & The Blues presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by the cast of The Kitchen during the New York City Wine & Food Festival at Good Units on October 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photo by: Brad Barket ©2014 Getty Images

Brad Barket, 2014 Getty Images

Guests roamed throughout two levels of the Hudson Hotel, chowing down on ribs, brisket, pulled pork, wings and more, sipping Tito’s vodka-spiked lemonade and sweet tea, and listening to live bluesy tunes from the Sunnyside Social Club.

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Sunny Anderson onstage with winners John Seymour and Randy Reppel of Sweat Chick accept award at Thrillist's Barbecue & The Blues presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by the cast of The Kitchen during the New York City Wine & Food Festival at Good Units on October 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photo by: Brad Barket ©2014 Getty Images

Brad Barket, 2014 Getty Images

The people’s choice award for Best in BBQ went to John Seymour of Sweet Chick, a born-and-bred New York City boy whose two outposts in Manhattan and Brooklyn actually specialize in chicken and waffles, not barbecue. But we agreed with the masses: His smoky chicken chili, lamb ribs and tangy slaw were among our favorite bites of the evening.

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Guests are served food at Thrillist's Barbecue & The Blues presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by the cast of The Kitchen during the New York City Wine & Food Festival at Good Units on October 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photo by: Brad Barket ©2014 Getty Images

Brad Barket, 2014 Getty Images

We also couldn’t get enough of the super-creamy mac and cheese and the jalapeno-laced lamb sausage from Delaney’s Barbecue. Chef Philip Powers told FN Dish his secrets to that incredible mac: He makes a classic cheese sauce, but with Beecher’s Flagship cheese and milk steeped with jalapeno.

Sunny’s vote went to Food Network Star winner Justin Warner of Brooklyn’s Do or Dine, who, naturally, went outside the box with his “pastramified” beef heart. “It’s so tender, I don’t care if it’s beef heart!” she exclaimed. Although Justin’s restaurant isn’t a ‘cue joint either, he said he loves barbecue: “It’s the perfect combination of art and science. We’re using a nontraditional meat and a nontraditional wood to smoke it, pecan.”

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Food on display at Thrillist's Barbecue & The Blues presented by Creekstone Farms hosted by the cast of The Kitchen during the New York City Wine & Food Festival at Good Units on October 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photo by: Brad Barket ©2014 Getty Images

Brad Barket, 2014 Getty Images

Hugh Mangum of Mighty Quinn’s is known for his excellent brisket, but he also strayed from tradition last night, saying, “Everybody does brisket, so we wanted to try something we don’t normally do.” His melt-in-your-mouth beef cheeks were another highlight of a deliciously meaty New York City evening.

Keep coming back to FN Dish all weekend long for continued coverage of the 2014 New York City Wine & Food Festival.

Photos by Brad Barket/Getty Images for NYCWFF and Sara Levine
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