3rd Place Finish

Kim Hicks

Midnight Burn
Kim Hicks
Final Score
KCBS Score
WFC Score

Winning first place in brisket out of almost 100 of the best teams in the world this year at the World Food Championships was pretty darn memorable!

Originally from Michigan, Kim Hicks moved to the middle of competitive barbecue territory when she opened a restaurant in western North Carolina. Boldly introducing her take on Memphis-style barbecue in the smoked meat mecca of Hendersonville, Kim and her husband Wayne have operated the Flat Rock Wood Room for five years.

A trip to Memphis to watch the huge Memphis in May BBQ Championships was what stoked Kim's competitive fires and convinced her to start up her Midnight Burn cook team. Wayne eventually joined the team, and the couple has been hooked ever since. She shares, "We are both competitive, and love people and food. The professional BBQ circuit has all of those components."

Through the years, Kim and her team have earned a reputation as tough competitors. "We have won several Grand Championships and many first place category finishes - I believe we have had 5 or 6 perfect 180 scores - over the past few years. It's difficult to pick a biggest win for us as they have all been very exciting!"

Picking that biggest win might be a little easier now, since Kim's success in 2016 led her to the Top 10 Finals of the Cowboy Charcoal Fire & Ice Women's Championship. The series was started last year to shine a light on the lady pitmasters of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. They were put through a grilling and barbecuing challenge like never before at the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Ala.

When all the dust settled, Hicks would finish third in the Fire & Ice challenge, which earned her a $1000 gift certificate to Manning Jewelry in Foley, Ala. But she is even more proud of her performance in one of the compulsory barbecue turn-ins during the second round of the challenge. "Winning first place in brisket out of almost 100 of the best teams in the world this year at the World Food Championships was pretty darn memorable!"

As much as Hicks like taking home the prize money and the trophies, her greatest reward is more personal. "I feel the people I've met on the BBQ trail are some of the best people in the world. They are genuine, honest, caring people who look out for each other and will do anything to help one another. We are all fierce competitors, but at the end of the day we all support one another."

Hicks is excited about the future of barbecue, particularly for herself and other female pitmasters. "I am so glad that Cowboy Charcoal is doing this competition focusing on lady pitmasters! I would like to see more ladies participate (AND WIN) in competition BBQ and hopefully this will give us more exposure." Hicks is a great representative for barbecue, and the spotlight should continue to shine on her for quite awhile.