Prize Pig | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Prize Pig 

Side Dishes: The Belted Cow's John Delpha proves his I Que in BBQ

After 21 years of contention, the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue has its first East Coast victor. The team doesn’t hail from North Carolina or even from Lynchburg, Tenn., where the competition is held. Nope — Team I Que is based in Hopkinton, Mass. And one of its members is John Delpha, co-owner and chef at The Belted Cow in Essex Junction.

The team of three cooks was one of 70 in competition, from spots as far-flung as Australia and Estonia, and one of only five from New England invited to the prestigious event. Teams are required to cook up samples of white- and dark-meat chicken; pork ribs, shoulder or butt; and beef brisket. I Que, headed by Massachusetts resident Chris Hart, original owner of Boston’s Tremont 647 restaurant, placed eighth for chicken, second for butts and shoulders, and second for Delpha’s Bananas Foster Cheesecake Parfait. That was enough to earn it the title of Grand Champion.

Delpha, who spoke to Seven Days while driving back from Lynchburg with the team’s custom Jamie Geer pit, is pictured on the Jack Daniel’s website hugging his teammates. An oversized check for $5000 looms in the background. But “it’s not about the money,” he says. “It’s about the prestige.”

Delpha hopes this national honor will stir up interest in his fine dining restaurant, located in the Lincoln Inn. Though he doesn’t whip up competition-style meat every day — “too much prep,” he says — he’ll offer opportunities to try his winning tastes. After a successful test-run at a 7 Nights Bite Club tasting, for which he prepared some of his competition standards, Delpha plans on making barbecue specials on Tuesday nights. He also hopes to host occasional small barbecue nights at the restaurant. Until then, he points out, “we always have pulled pork on the menu.”

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

Bio:
AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation