Ignite The Conversation: A Exploration Into Chicago-style BBQ


We’ve all heard of the classic BBQ styles from regions like Kansas City, Memphis or Texas-style. But what about Chicago-style BBQ?

From Rib tips to Hot Links to Mild Sauce and more, Chicago Chef and Pitmaster Dominique Leach of the Black-Women-Queer-Owned and award-winning restaurant Lexington Betty’s Smokehouse, plus the 2023 winner and the current reigning “MASTER OF ‘CUE” of the Food Network’s Hit Show BBQ Brawl , is making it her mission to further define this unique style and put it on the map in 2024. And she’s calling on a few more experts to help!

On Sunday, February 25th, join us for Ignite the Conversation, an educational panel and BBQ tasting with BBQ legends from throughout Chicago and top local journalists to lead a discussion on the origins of Chicago-style BBQ, its variations, and its future. To moderate the discussion, she has tapped Catherine Lambrecht of the Culinary Historians of Chicago with proceeds of this event to be made to their American Midwest Scholarship fund which provides financial support for the study of Midwestern foods and food-related institutions.

Chef Speakers: Dominique Leach (Lexington Betty Smokehouse) – Brian Jupiter (Frontier/Ina Mae Tavern)- Daniel Hammond (Smoky Soul BBQ)- Ron Conner (U Want Dat Smoke BBQ)

Media Speakers: Journalist Monica Eng of AXIOS Chicago and co-author of Made in Chicago: Stories Behind 30 Great Hometown Bites & James Beard Award-winning food writer/video producer Mike Gebert of Fooditor

Format: Discussion and Q&A with the audience followed by a BBQ tasting with dishes provided by all four chef speakers including:

Dominique Leach – Smoked pork belly with kimchi fried rice & sweet & Sour bbq sauce
Ron Conner – Rib Tips with a Raspberry Chipotle glaze with Garlic Parmesan Sweet Corn,
Brian Jupiter – Smoked Pork Cheeks with Rice Grits and Smoked Bacon Vinegar
Daniel Hammond – Chicago Coffee Rub Smoked Prime Ribeye Sliders topped with a Chipotle giardiniera slawcoupled with Smoked Mango Jerk Winglets w/ Pineapple Chutney Jerk BBQ Sauce.

Tickets are inclusive of panel and all food.


Sunday, February 25, 2024, 4 PM-6 PM

Lexington Betty Smokehouse
756 East 111th Street Chicago, IL 60628

Link to Tickets $25 plus fees

If you have any questions, please e-mail: Culinary.Historians@gmail.com


Wish to become a member or renew your membership for 2024 with Culinary Historians of Chicago? Everything you need is here.