8th Place Finish

Kim Hicks

Midnight Burn
Kim Hicks
Final Score
KCBS Score
WFC Score

The whole experience was a great time. If it wasn’t for Fire & Ice I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be at WFC.

Who says competitive barbeque is a man's sport? Certainly not pro pitmaster Kim Hicks. Originally from Michigan, this lady pitmaster has racked up numerous awards and prizes competing at competitions across the country. Hicks first caught the competitive barbeque bug nine years ago after attending the Memphis in May BBQ Championships.

"That day my husband and I bought a smoker from a competitor and that's where it all started," shares Hicks.

Since then, Hicks and her husband moved to North Carolina where they own and operate the Flat Rock Wood Room and compete on a regular basis with their team, Midnight Burn.

This year Hicks qualified for the second year to compete in the Cowboy Charcoal's Fire & Ice Challenge held at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Ala this past November. Hicks battled it out for the title, prize money, and of course, the special "ice"-ing on the cake.

During the opening round of Fire & Ice, Hicks prepared Chicken Marsala topped with garlic shrimp as her first dish for the two-hour grilling challenge. While a lot of her fellow competitors shied away from poultry, Hicks strived to think outside of the box and stand out.

"I chose Chicken Marsala because it's an easy recipe to do on the grill and is not something you would automatically think to make," explained Hicks.

Unfortunately Hicks was disappointed in her scores. After finishing third in last year's Fire & Ice competition, she received an 84.4444 out of 100 for her opening dish this year.

"I was happy with my performance, but you never know what the judges will go with. Beef seemed to be on top this year," reflected Hicks.

After 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.

When all the flames had died down, Hicks would be unable to claim a top three spot for the second year in a row. Despite her eighth-place standing, though, Hicks was thrilled to partake in this event that showcases the ladies of barbecue.

"I think it's a great event. It's nice that there is a company out there that is featuring women pitmasters, which you don't see very often," said Hicks. The whole experience was a great time. If it wasn't for Fire & Ice I wouldn't have had the opportunity to be at WFC."

As the two-time competitor starts preparing for next year's challenge, she offered some simple advice for women looking to get a taste of the competitive action: "Start out simple and have fun!"

She added, "Barbeque is fun and you meet a lot of nice people. Go in with the attitude you're just going to have fun and maybe even join up with a team to make sure you really love it, but trust me: once you're in, it becomes addicting!"