[Photos: Kimberly Park]
The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's World Championship Bar-B-Que Cookoff attracted talent from all over the state, including some familiar names who made their way around town. The "meat whisperer" Aaron Franklin, from acclaimed Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn and TV show BBQ Pitmasters's John Markus were drawn to Houston for that massive 'cue competition. (Tuffy Stone, a judge from that show, was also competing and earned a few awards.) But before they headed to the Houston Rodeo's cookoff, the pitmaster and barbecue enthusiasts paid a visit to newly opened Killen's Barbecue in Pearland where they waited in line for a taste of Ronnie Killen's famous smoked meats. Back in October Killen told Eater that his goal was to "overthrow Franklin from being the king of barbecue," but that competition seems to be a friendly one based on a mutual love of all things barbecue. Franklin got to admire Killen's popular reverse-flow pit before spotting a Killen's guest who donned a "Franklin's Barbecue" t-shirt. The Austin pitmaster handed him a sausage link and told the guest: "Here, here's a snack. Oh, and by the way, I like your t-shirt."
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