Chicago Pitmasters Named Barbecue Hall of Fame Semi-Finalists


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Kansas City, MO — The American Royal is pleased to announce the Barbecue Hall of Fame® 2020 Top 9 Semi-finalists from this year’s nominees.

  • William (Bill) Arnold, Washington, MO
  • Joe Don Davidson, Stillwater & Broken Arrow, OK
  • Aaron Franklin, Austin, TX
  • Meathead Goldwyn, Chicago, IL
  • John Markus, London, OH (past) & Manhattan, NY (present)
  • Desiree Robinson, Memphis, TN
  • Rodney Scott, Charleston, SC
  • Darren Warth, Des Moines, IA
  • Lee Ann Whippen, Chicago, IL (past) & Tampa, FL (present)

Each year, the Barbecue Hall of Fame has the pristine honor of inducting three individuals that have impacted the world of BBQ. For a full calendar year, nominations for this honor are sent in from individuals throughout the world and this year, there were over 60 individuals included in the nomination process.

At the close of the nomination period, each individual nominated is reviewed by the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and the list is reduced to the top nine. The nine semi-finalists are then reviewed and voted on by Hall of Fame voting members. Voting members include the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and all living Hall of Fame Inductees.

The three 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The Barbecue Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and events will take place during the 41 st American Royal World Series of Barbecue® held at the Kansas Speedway, September 18 – 20, 2020. The American Royal Association officially became the home of the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2012. To learn more about the history of the Barbecue Hall of Fame visit

About the American Royal Association
Woven through the history of Kansas City since 1899, the American Royal provides opportunities for youth and adults from around the country to compete in our Livestock Show, ProRodeo, Horse Shows, and the World Series of Barbecue®. These events allow the American Royal, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, to give over $1 million annually for youth scholarships and support agriculture education programs. Last year, more than 22,000 youth were impacted through their educational mission. To learn more about the American Royal visit

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