KANSAS CITY, MO. – The next inductees of the American Royal Association’s Barbecue Hall of Fame have been announced. The three 2020 honorees are: Aaron Franklin, Austin, Texas-based award-winning chef, author and restaurateur; Desiree Robinson, co-founder and longtime pitmaster of Cozy Corner Restaurant in Memphis; and Joe Don Davidson, award-winning pitmaster and owner of Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue in Broken Arrow and Tulsa, Okla.
The Barbecue Hall of Fame will honor the three inductees during an induction ceremony on Sept. 19 at this year’s American Royal World Series of Barbecue at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., held Sept. 18-20. The American Royal Association awards three people each year with the honor to recognize their contributions to the barbecue community and their achievements of barbecue excellence. The association began recognizing barbecue’s highest achievers in 2012 with the founding of the Hall of Fame and its inaugural inductees, Henry Ford, Johnny Trigg and Guy Fieri. The 2019 honorees included John Bishop, Wayne Monk and C.B. Stubblefield.
This year marks the first time two deceased barbecue legends will be recognized as part of a new Barbecue Hall of Fame Legacy category. The two inaugural inductees for this honor include: Warner Stamey, the iconic North Carolina-based restaurateur and pitmaster; and James Lemons, co-founder and operator of barbecue stands as well as Lem’s Bar-B-Q House in Chicago’s south side and another in the city’s historic Chatham Neighborhood.
“Barbecue is a centuries-old culinary art and this category will recognize individuals whose formative influence came before the modern era of competitions and food media,” according to the American Royal Association.