SUGARFIRE SMOKE HOUSE
St. Loius, MO
Sugarfire Smoke House is an award-winning restaurant group, founded by Chef Mike Johnson, Carolyn Downs and Charlie Downs. Famous for its succulent brisket, pulled pork, ribs, signature sandwiches, and over the top daily specials, Sugarfire has consistently been ranked best barbecue in St. Louis by local and national publications alike.
Johnson has served as a celebrity pitmaster and competed in events stateside and beyond on behalf of Sugarfire, including Hogs for the Cause, the Perth Yak Ales BBQ Competition, Memphis in May, Australia’s Meatstock, The Kansas City Royal, Charleston Wine & FoodFestival and the World Food Championship.
Furthermore, Johnson has been featured on a variety of national television shows, including Food Network’s BBQ, Brews & ‘Que (feat. Michael Symon), Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters, Travel Channel’s Food Paradise, and Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay!, to name a few, and has been praised by a variety of celebrities including Snoop Dogg.
Today, Sugarfire has eleven locations, including several locations across the state of Missouri (including a location within the National Blues Museum), as well as locations in O’Fallon, IL, Indianapolis, IN, and Westminster, CO. In late 2018, Sugarfire announced plans for expansion with new locations slated to open in Union, KY and Edwardsville, IL.
Yazoo City, MS
Leslie Roark Scott
Leslie Roark Scott started cooking competitive BBQ in 1989 alongside her father, Pitmaster Garry Roark. In 1992 she was the first female to win a Memphis in May sanctioned Grand Championship. Leslie and the Ubons BBQ Team have cooked in competitions and festivals all over the country including The Big Apple BBQ Block Party, Memphis in May, The Jack Daniels World Championship, Windy City Smoke Out and Hogs for the Cause. Leslie is the owner and chef for Ubons Restaurant in Yazoo City, MS. Leslie has appeared on Chopped Grillmasters and Chopped Impossible and is a Chopped Champion. She has also appeared on BBQ Crawl, BBQ Pitmasters, Stove Tots and Smoked. Leslie and the Ubons team recently were chosen to cook at the James Beard House in NYC.
“As the daughter of a longstanding accomplished BBQ Pitmaster I’m honored to continue our family’s BBQ tradition. As the mother of a next generation bbq and grill master I’m thrilled to know that the future of bbq is in good hands. I can’t wait to bring Mississippi style bbq and the Front Porch of America to the entire USA
St. Loius, MO
John Matthews, born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., grew up with a typical Midwest influence. Family and friends barbecuing pork steaks, chicken, burgers and ribs served with a healthy dose of Maul’s BBQ sauce. After graduating from St. Louis University in 1993, John gained exposure to other BBQ styles such as Texas, Carolinas, Kansas City and Memphis. In February 2008, he and partner Mike Emerson took a leap of faith and opened Pappy’s Smokehouse in a 2,500-square-foot location in the Midtown area of St. Louis with just 3 employees. Pappy’s brought a new concept from experience on the competition circuit, serving only fresh product cooked daily.
In the last 10-1/2 years, Pappy’s has grown to 9,000+ square feet and received numerous local and national recognition for their fare. John and his team have cooked in competitions and festivals with the likes of Salt Lick, Ubon’s of Yazoo, Dinosaur BBQ, Peg-Leg Porker and many more. Pappy’s has brought its award-winning BBQ to the New York City Big Apple Block Party, Memphis in May, Denver BBQ Festival and Chicago’s Windy City Smoke Out; and was voted Best Ribs in America in 2017 by the Food Network. Today, John and his team of 60+ remain dedicated to serving only the finest Memphis-style BBQ that they opened with over a decade ago.
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