The 2015 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

The Official Line Up for The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2016

The 14th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party will take place on June 11 and 12, in and around Madison Square Park. The event is a benefit for the Madison Square Park Conservancy, who will be directly managing the event this year. This is a major change from years past. The event was founded in 2002 by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, who managed the event until last year when it was sold to chef Tim Love and C3, an events company based in Texas. The Block Party, which it should be reiterated is a benefit, apparently did not meet financial expectations and was “donated” back to the Conservancy by C3.

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

The Block Party will be slightly smaller than in years past; there will, for example, only be 13 pit masters, down four from last year.  But the fast pass, which allows guest to prepay and skip much of the line, will be making a return. The big news on the pitmaster front is that noted North Carolina whole hog specialist Ed Mitchell will make a triumphant return this year. The lineup also includes longtime participants Mike and Amy Mills, Chris Lilly, and Pat Martin. Local barbecue is well represented with four NYC joints participating, this reflects the evolution of both the event and of NYC barbecue in general. Tickets are available online, here is a complete list of pit masters:

Jean Paul Bourgeois, Blue Smoke, New York, NY

Joe Duncan, Baker’s Ribs, Dallas, TX

Billy Durney, Hometown BBQ Brooklyn, NY

Charles Grund Jr., Hill Country, New York, NY

Sam Jones Skylight Inn / Sam Jones BBQ, Ayden, NC

Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ, Decatur, AL

Pat Martin, Martin’s Bar-B-Que, Nashville,TN

Ed Mitchell, Wilson, NC

Mike Mills 17th St. BBQ, Murphysboro, IL

Gary Roark Ubon’s Barbecue, Yazoo City, MS

Scott Roberts Salt Lick BBQ, Driftwood, TX

John Stage Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, New York, NY

John Wheeler, Memphis Barbecue Co., South Haven, MS