BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The Coast is home to a world championship team in barbecue.
On Saturday, the nine-member Hometown Barbecue team won the top spot in the whole hog category at the prestigious Memphis in May competition. The event is considered the Super Bowl of barbecue competitions.
Whole Hog, one of five categories in Memphis in May, is arguably the most challenging of all and team leader, Marcio Borguezan, said members of the team, who usually compete against one another, came together as a family.
“I have no description, the feeling, it’s overwhelming,” he said. “I mean, we’re 24 hours since we’ve found out that we are world champions. It’s overwhelming. It’s amazing. Our team is magnificent.”
What makes this even more special is that this was the first time the team has competed in Memphis in May. As a result of its win, the team already has a free entry in next year’s competition.
Team members are Borguezan, Jeff Rollins, Brian Levi, Dustey Walley, Noel Grafe, ST Phillips, Dustin Stanford, Caroline Grafe and William Gottberg.
Nearly 250 teams travel from around the world and across the U.S. to compete for the title of World Champion and a share of the more than $115,000 in prize money. The contest draws more than 75,000 attendees, including teams from 26 states and six countries from as far away as Japan and the Czech Republic.
The Shed Barbecue & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs has placed multiple times at Memphis in May and took home the grand prize during last year’s competition and in 2015.