Meet ‘Famous Dave’ at San Jose competition and score some free barbecue

Meet ‘Famous Dave’ at San Jose competition and score some free barbecue

“Famous Dave” Anderson of barbecue fame is coming to San Jose.

The founder of the restaurant chain that bears his name will be in town Saturday, Aug. 12, to find a worthy local pit team for his Nationwide All-Star BBQ Championship Series, and five local teams are vying for the spot.

The contest, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. outside Famous Dave’s at The Plant shopping center on Curtner Avenue, is free and open to the public. But you’ll want to arrive early for sampling — the first 200 attendees will score the free ‘cue.

“BBQ is really America’s food,” and competitions like this have always led to innovation in the restaurant industry, said Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s, in announcing the contest. “Giving local pitmasters the opportunity to share a family BBQ recipe and the craft they’ve handed down for generations is what BBQ is all about and what makes it interesting. That’s why this is such a passion project of mine. Every community has local legends who are known in the community, love what they do and we want to celebrate their uniqueness and skill.”

At stake is a $5,000 prize purse and two “golden tickets” to Dallas this fall for the nationals, in partnership with the World Food Championships.

The Bay Area teams competing are Ironhead Barbeque (Kurt Mueller); Los Mexi”Q”tioners (Carlos Lopez); Phil the Grill (Phil Johnson); Old Greenwood BBQ (Ryan Pang); and Pops BBQ (Tomeako Honesto).

The winner will be announced at 3:30 p.m.

Anderson grew up eating barbecue with his father on the south side of Chicago and opened his first restaurant in Wisconsin in 1994. A Native American of Choctaw and Ojibwe heritage, he’s a former assistant secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and is also noted for his philanthropy and work with at-risk youth.

There are 117 Famous Dave’s restaurants nationwide, mostly operated by franchisees. In Northern California, besides San Jose, there are locations in Alameda at Alameda Landing and at Hayward’s Southland Mall. Takeout options are available in Fairfield and Modesto.

Details: 61 Curtner Ave., San Jose; www.famousdaves.com