1st Place Finish

Shannon Turner

Muttley Crew BBQ
Shannon Turner
Final Score
94.74749
KCBS Score
681.6
WFC Score
94.8889

Just jump in there and show what you’ve got because you’re just as talented as anyone else out there.

Ten female pitmasters from six states traveled to Orange Beach, Ala., in November to prove that the world of barbeque isn't just for boys.

And they had the perfect platform to demonstrate that at the World Food Championships, the host of the Second Annual Cowboy Charcoal Fire & Ice Women's Championship Barbeque Series. It was a smokin' and fiery affair, and Shannon Turner from Apex, N.C., took home the grand prize title, money and of course, the special "ice"-ing on the cake.

The Fire & Ice finals involved two days and two challenges. The competition kicked off on November 10 with a two-hour "grilling" challenge. The ladies used Cowboy Charcoal and a Bull Outdoor grill to create a dish of their choice for a panel of special judges. Turner, who finished 8th overall last year, focused a great deal on perfecting her dish for this round.

"I knew I had to do well in the grilling portion if I wanted to win," said Turner. "I consider the variety of judges' palettes on the panel and I decided to create a dish that I would like to eat if I were grilling out."

Turner's strategy paid off. Her steak and potatoes dish received the highest score on day one of the competition with a score of 94.8889 out of a perfect 100.

Turner travels throughout the year with her husband Brian competing in barbeque competitions. Prior to competing in Fire & Ice challenge, their team (Muttley Crew) had already taken home three grand championships and three reserve grands by traveling the KCBS circuit. This year also marked their team's fourth year competing at WFC.

"I love getting to compete at WFC. It's a great venue and I love seeing what some of the other categories produce," shared Turner. "It's just a good time all around."

However, Fire & Ice did throw a curveball at this seasoned pro barbecuer. Since Fire & Ice is a challenge for only the ladies, that meant NO BOYS ALLOWED! For Turner, it meant finding a replacement for her male teammate. Turner's sister, Michelle Jordy, stepped up to the plate to assist the North Carolina cook.

"She had never competed in any food competitions before so, of course, she was nervous and her biggest concern was not dropping the turn-in tray," explained Turner. "She really had a great time and enjoyed herself. Who knows, we may have created another competitor out of her!"

In the second and final round of competition, the pitmasters competed in a traditional barbecue competition with the contestants preparing the four standard KCBS meats over the course of several hours. Chicken, pork, ribs and beef brisket were each turned in a half hour apart and judged to determine an overall score. Turner managed to keep her lead and take home the win. With a total score of 94.74749, she was named the 2017 Cowboy Charcoal's Fire & Ice Barbeque Series champ and was awarded a $9,000 prize check, the first place trophy and a custom-made pendant from Manning Jewelry, valued at $3,000.

"It was such a great way to top off such a successful season," said Turner.

What advice does this year's champ have for females interested in joining the competitive cooking world? That's simple; "Just go for it!"

"Don't be intimidated or afraid to ask questions," she adds. "Just jump in there and show what you've got because you're just as talented as anyone else out there."