An Iowa restaurant owner is celebrating a major career accomplishment this week.

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For well over a decade now, the American Royal based in Kansas City has honored the best of the best in barbecue. Since 2011, this not-for-profit organization is the nation’s leader for food and agriculture education, and has worked to celebrate, honor, and document barbecue heritage.

They also try to recognize exceptional contributions to the barbecue community and industry with the Barbecue Hall of Fame. It's one of the most prestigious honors that a BBQ pitmaster or chef can receive.

On May 24th, American Royal named the four newest Barbecue Hall of Fame inductees. In a press release, the organization welcomed the following individuals into the exclusive barbecue club.

Here are the four 2023 Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Byron Chism
  • Flora Payne
  • Dave Raymond,
  • Darren Warth

Warth is the co-owner of Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines. His wife Sherry is the other owner of this business. It's a catering company that opened in 2006 and has grown into two eateries located at 5055 NW 2nd Avenue and 601 Locust Steet in the capital city.

Smokey D's is considered by American Royal as "central Iowa’s destination for championship barbecue."

 

Darren Warth is one of the most decorated BBQ pitmasters in the game. He made his barbecue competition debut in 2003, and has won more than 90 State BBQ Championships and garnered 1,000 national and regional barbecue awards in just twenty years.

That's a whole lot of brisket...

According to a press release from American Royal, Warth "has centered his success around consistency, quality and affordability."

All of the inductees will be honored at the 43rd American Royal World Series of Barbecue® in Kansas City on Sept. 27th through Oct. 1st.
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