5th Place Finish

Jayna Todisco

A Mazie Q
Jayna Todisco
Final Score
KCBS Score
WFC Score

Be your own cheerleader or lean on others that bring you up and ignore those that knock you down.

Jayna Todisco arrived in Orange Beach, Ala., this past November at the World Food Championships with one goal in mind —— to defend her title as the Cowboy Charcoal's Fire & Ice Women's Barbeque Series Champion.

Todisco has worked in a variety of food industries, but competing is where she feels she shines best.

"I have worked in restaurants and bakeries but found that my favorite place to be is on the competition circuit. It just suits me best," explained Todisco.

The Concord, NH pitmaster and her team A Mazie Q, which Todisco named after her grandmother, travel throughout the year competing in barbeque competitions across the United States. Her team consists of her husband Pete Coulon and her kids.

"They are my support system. And let's be honest, yes, I do all the cooking. I really do. All of it," proclaimed Todisco. "However, that means nothing without the mental and physical support in terms of logistics."

However, at this year's Fire & Ice Women's Barbeque Series Championship, Todisco would have to go it alone. In 2017 the competition introduced a new "no boys allowed" rule. This rule prevents any males to assist a lady pitmaster in her race for the title and ice. Todisco's family cheered her on from the sidelines as she attempted to defend her title against the best-ranked ladies in barbeque without them.

The two-day competition kicked off on November 10th 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. With nine other ladies vying to steal her title, Todisco set her eye on the prize.

Unfortunately for the reigning champ, she was unable to replicate last year's performance. Her scores placed her at the bottom of the pack at the end of day one.

In the 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. Todisco gave a commendable performance on day two of the fiery female barbeque battle.

Ultimately, Todisco would be unable to keep her title for another year, as she finished fifth overall with a final score of 90.37288864. Despite her defeat at this year's championships, the 2016 champ had some great advice for lady pitmasters looking to break into barbeque:

"Be your own cheerleader or lean on others that bring you up — and ignore those that knock you down. The BBQ/grilling competition circuit is a big undertaking and you need to surround yourself with a can-do attitude. You don't need to have fancy things, just some passion and one by one you will get where you need to be. Don't be scared, don't be daunted; be the fire you've always wanted to be."