Melissa Cookston Invited to Cook Dinner at the Prestigious James Beard House

MEMPHIS, TENN., October 8, 2019 – Melissa Cookston, the Winningest Woman in Barbecue, the first woman to be inducted into the BBQ Hall of Fame, author, and restaurateur has been invited to cook dinner for the James Beard Foundation at the James Beard House in New York Saturday, November 2. The title of the dinner is “Barbecue Legend.” Cookston was selected by a committee comprised of food and wine professionals and gastronomic enthusiasts who represent the James Beard Foundation. Tickets are available for the general public for $180 each. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit the James Beard website at the following link:“I am so honored to have been invited to cook at the James Beard House,” said Melissa Cookston, the Winningest Woman in BBQ. “Cooking for the James Beard House is one of the highest honors you can achieve as a chef and restaurateur. I’m excited to share my southern Delta and barbecue culinary background and point of view with guests and members of the James Beard Foundation.”In preparation for the James Beard Dinner, Cookston will host a preview dinner Sunday, October 27 at 6 p.m. at Steak by Melissa in Southaven, Mississippi. Tickets to the preview dinner are $99 per person with all proceeds being donated to Cookston’s World Junior BBQ League, a non-profit she started to promote BBQ Competitions to high school aged youth teaching leadership skills, teamwork, and life skills. For tickets please call Rita Reed at 901-409-2497.Cookston has won numerous awards and recognitions including seven world barbecue championships and was the first woman to have been inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame. Cookston owns and operates Memphis BBQ Company a successful barbecue restaurant with locations in Horn Lake, Mississippi and Dunwoody, Georgia and Steak by Melissa, a successful steakhouse in Southaven, Mississippi. A brand ambassador for Prairie Fresh and Kingsford, Cookston has written two cookbooks and has appeared on national television shows including “Today,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” and “Chopped” among others.The James Beard Foundation will feature a live feed of the kitchen during Cookston’s dinner preparations that can be viewed November 2 starting at 6 p.m. eastern standard time at the following link: Cookston’s Barbecue Legend James Beard Dinner Menu:Hors d’Oeuvres

  • Deviled Eggs with Chive-Truffle vinaigrette
  • Heritage-Bred Pork Meatballs with Whole Hog Sausage, Sage, Classic Barbecue Sauce, and Grana Padano
  • Smoked Catfish Dip with Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Crostini


  • Pork Chop Lollipop with Cactus Pear Barbecue Sauce and Poblano Creamed Corn
  • Smoked Beef Tenderloin with Guajillo Hoecake and Blackberry Jus
  • Achiote Molasses Pork Tenderloin with Tasso Hoppin’ John
  • Muscadine-Glazed Bobwhite Quail with Sweet Potato Hash
  • Memphis Muddy Baby Back Ribs with Southern Grape Salad


  • Bergamot-Meyer Lemon Petit Cake with Limoncello 

A selection of fine beverages will be served with this dinner.


Patrick Collins