The CBBQA Hall of Fame was established in 2007 to recognize CBBQA members who personify the very best of what the CBBQA stands for – service, competition, and education.
Click here to learn about our nominations process.
Dan CannonGene Goycochea
Brent and Kim Walton
Frank BoyerRic Gilbert
Kelly and Kathleen McIntoshBen Lobenstein
Darry SmithHarry Soo
Andrew SotoStephan Franklin
Jerry AguilarHayward HarrisSterling Ball
Eva HarrisDale and Tammy GinosPatty Fisher-SharpeSylvie Curry
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Donna Fong is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition of her service to the organization for more than a decade. Donna served as Vice President in 2013 during a period of transition for the organization. Donna’s leadership during this period was critical to the survival of the CBBQA. Since then she has remained a stalwart supporter of the organization and the BBQ community and serves as the elections chair and unofficial CBBQA historian. In addition, she is a writer/contributor to the CBBQA section in the Barbecue News magazine. Today, she continues to volunteer at events throughout the state.
Jerry Aguilar is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition of his skill as a competitor and volunteer to the organization. The head cook of Burnin’ and Lootin’, Jerry was named CBBQA Rookie of the Year in 2012 and has won over 25 Grand and Reserve Grand Championships. Jerry served as CBBQA Secretary from 2013 to 2019 and as website administrator from 2014 to 2019.
Hayward Harris Jr. is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his contributions as a founding member of the CBBQA as well as a volunteer, organizer, and head cook for The Rib Doctor. He is one of the original 12 Californians to found the CBBQA in 1992 and served on the first interim Board of Directors. Hayward has judged BBQ competitions since 1991 and is a certified KCBS Master Judge, Memphis BBQ Network, and International Barbeque Cookers Association judge. He also received certifications to judge Steak Cookoff Association and World Food Championships.
Hayward has competed in BBQ competitions since 1994 and has numerous cooking awards. His first-place win in the chicken category at Tropicana’s National Finals BBQ Cook-off & Party in 1996 put California BBQ on the map. As a member of the National BBQ Association he became a national ambassador for the CBBQA and brought national awareness to the CBBQA and its contributions to BBQ. Hayward has judged over 150 BBQ contests, cooked over 100 BBQ competitions and remains active competing and judging BBQ all over the country, as well as marketing his line of national award winning Barbeque Sauces.
Sterling Ball is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame for his contributions as a competitor, organizer, ambassador, philanthropist, and pioneer in BBQ. Sterling is the head cook of Big Poppa Smokers and founder and creator of Big Poppa Smokers BBQ rubs. In 2012 he won the American Royal Invitational and has won more than 75 Grand and Reserve Grand Championships since 2009. In addition, Sterling has raised more than $250,000 for pediatric charities through the Cooking for Kids program. Sterling established The Smithfield King of the Smoker which raised over $2,000,000 for pediatric kidney research. He is the creator of the Smithfield grant program which has increased the prize pool for contests all across the country by more than $300,000 and the creator of the Smithfield National Championship. Big Poppa Smokers earned KCBS Pork Team of the Year in 2016 and CBBQA Team of the Year for 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The inaugural class of the California BBQ Association Hall of Fame includes Dan Cannon and Gene Goycochea. Both made their mark successfully competing in BBQ and serve as an example to others of spirit and comradery.
Dan Cannon is a founding member of the Southern California BBQ Association (SCBBQA), the predecessor to CBBQA, where he served twice as president. This organizer of Q-Fest has been both a Grand Champion and a Reserve Grand Champion of past KCBS competitions. Dan volunteered countless times to help serve and assist at charity events.
Gene Goycochea is another founding member of SCBBQA and served as president of the organization. Gene is widely known as one of the best KCBS reps and contest organizers in all of BBQ, as well as an instructor and a skilled cooker, winning 1st in brisket at the American Royal. He is best known, however, for his dedication to children’s charities. Gene organized many events including the Imperial Beach Surf & Turf, the proceeds of which are donated to young children in need.
Brent and Kim Walton were inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for their skills and accomplishments in competition as well as their contributions to the BBQ community. Brent and Kim, as BBQ team QN4U, set an unprecedented award winning pace in the world of west coast BBQ. The duo served on the CBBQA Board of Directors, created state championship BBQ contests in Modesto and Clovis, California, organized and attended Military charitable events, and taught competition BBQ classes to teach others how to accomplish what they have learned to do so well. Brent and Kim’s success is exceeded their positive attitude and contributions to the BBQ community through educational, charitable, and community service activities. Together, Brent and Kim created a new level of BBQ achievement and excellence that we all can aspire to and work towards.
Frank Boyer is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his skills and individual accomplishments in the BBQ community well over two decades beginning in the early 1990’s. Frank was a pioneer in the creation, development, and implementation, of the sport of competition BBQ and activities in California. Frank partnered with organizers and cooks to create BBQ events, classes, and activities in California and was one of the founding members of the CBBQA, serving as President on the CBBQA Board of Directors. He created and organized some of the first state championship BBQ contests in California and organized BBQ cooking classes with legends like Paul Kirk and other great BBQ pioneers. Frank also organized a yearly Northern California CBBQA picnic to teach anyone interested, regardless of skill level, how to cook great backyard BBQ or win a BBQ contest. Frank’s dedication, tenacity, and commitment to the BBQ truly embodies the spirit of our community.
Ric Gilbert is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his contributions to organizing BBQ events, educational efforts, individual accomplishments, and selfless dedication to charitable events that span more than a decade. Ric got his start in BBQ at the Pasa Tiempo California State BBQ Championship organized by Frank Boyer in late 1990’s. Ric helped grow the BBQ community in California through his dedication to charitable activities, and organization of BBQ classes, contests, and events. Ric’s contributions to the growth of BBQ in California cannot be understated. His selflessness and dedication to the BBQ community should serve as an example for all.
Randy Gille is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his dedication to supporting charitable events and contributions towards organizing BBQ events. Randy’s ongoing commitment and selfless dedication to BBQ, the CBBQA organization, is evidenced by his assistance and generosity.
Kelly and Kathleen McIntosh are inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for the countless hours they have dedicated to the sport of competition BBQ. As KCBS reps, Kelly and Kathleen ensure contests are administered in accordance with KCBS rules and regulations and that every team competing is given a fair and equitable opportunity. Their work has earned them the reputation for being among the best KCBS reps in the country. For more than 15 years, they have helped grow the sport and foster the BBQ community throughout California and the western US. The duo is widely recognized by BBQ competitors, contest organizers, and community members alike for their invaluable contributions.
Ben Lobenstein is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his dedication BBQ community as an organizer and ambassador to competition BBQ. Ben is a respected member of the community and regarded as one of the best BBQ contest and event organizers in the state. Ben’s hard word and dedication have resulted in his events often being the best organized, managed, and team friendly events each year. Ben’s contributions to the community extend well beyond organizing events and includes volunteering on the CBBQA Board of Directors as well as the original creator or the CBBQA website.
Laurence (Larry) Hill is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his long-time dedication to serving the organization. Laurence “Larry” Hill, a longtime member of the CBBQA and volunteered his services as a member of the Board of Directors for five consecutive years from 2007-2011. Larry also served as President for three years from 2009-2011, overseeing the organization during record setting years of fund raising and charitable donations. Larry volunteered tirelessly in CBBQA educational events to raise money for California Children’s charities. Under his leadership, the organization overhauled the Team of the Year and business member programs which led to increased membership and contributions to charity. In addition, Larry is a top-level competitor and a successful BBQ entrepreneur.
Bill Keyes is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his many years of dedication to serving on the CBBQA Board of Directors as well as Treasurer. His hard work ensured the success of countless charitable events. Bill is a long-time member of the organization who volunteered his services to help organize and participate in charitable events that have helped the Veterans, and active-duty Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. In addition to his service to the organization, Bill is recognized for his skill as a competitor having won several BBQ contests.
Steve Madaule is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his dedication to serving at many charity events and his passion for sharing his knowledge of BBQ with his fellow participants. In addition to his dedication to service, Steve has demonstrated his talent as a pitmaster, winning events throughout California and the US.
Dale and Tammy Ginos
Thom Emery is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his contributions as a cook, judge, and contest organizer since 2005. Thom served on the CBBQA Board of Directors for three years and was President in 2005. Under Thom’s leadership the modern Team of the Year and CBBQA Hall of Fame and Presidential Service awards were created. Thom’s contributions also included the founding moderator of the CBBQA forum, and organizer of the Stagecoach Music Festival BBQ Championship, and volunteering his time to cook for those in need.
Darry Smith is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his contributions as a volunteer, organizer, educator, and competitor. Darry joined the CBBQA in 2005 and served on the Board of Directors for four years. Darry’s contributions to the management and growth of the organization include management of the business member program from 2009 to 2012, expansion of the Team of the Year program, creation of the first sponsorship for Team of the Year, class organizer from 2009 to 2011, management and maintenance of the website from 2008 to 2012. Darry also volunteered to help several new contest organizers launch new events including the Silicon Valley BBQ Championship. Darry won CBBQA Brisket and Rib Team of the Year in 2008 and has been an active sponsor of the Team of the Year program since 2014.
Harry Soo is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition for his contributions as a cook, educator, volunteer, pioneer, and amabassador of BBQ. Harry is a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge and head cook of Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ. Harry trained over 2,000 pitmasters and barbecue judges and has been featured on several TV shows. He has won 27 Grand Championships, over 80 first place finsihes, and numerous KCBS national and international awards including appearing on TLC’s Barbecue Pitmasters, Food Network’s Chopped Grillmasters, and Cutthroat Kitchen. In 2012, Harry was selected to be one of the five national barbecue judges in the Kingsford Invitational contest which crowns a single Grand Champion from eight winners of the nation’s top barbecue competitions. He has served on National BBQ and Grilling Association as the Western Region Vice President and a CBBQA Institute 101 instructor.
Andrew Soto is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition of his dedication as a volunteer and competitive cook. Andy served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors and an instructor for the California BBQ Institute. Andy is an eager volunteer who has served at many events benefiting law enforcement, first responders, our Armed Forces and military Veterans.
Stephan Franklin is inducted into the CBBQA Hall of Fame in recognition of his selfless service to the organization and his skill as a competitor. Stephan served as President of the organization from 2014 to 2018. Under his leadership he increased general membership participation in the management of the organization by creating the “Open Board” forum to address member concerns. He helped transform the organization by creating formal committees to lead multiple initiatives and programs. As President, he ensured transparency and accountability within the organization. In addition to serving as President, he has been a Team of the Year sponsor since 2014. Stephan’s contributions extend well beyond leadership of the organization, he has been a class instructor, ambassador, and created the award-winning line of Simply Marvelous BBQ rubs, and he is a loyal supporter of CBBQA community outreach and services.
To continue the California BBQ Association Hall of Fame tradition, the Board of Directors created a Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
1. Each year, the Board of Directors (BOD) will designate three (3) representatives, consisting of current BOD members, and the Hall of Fame (HOF) will designate three (3) representatives, consisting of current HOF members. Names of representatives will be sent to the BOD for confirmation. If not all representatives have been designated by the BOD or HOF by September 1st, they will forfeit those representative’s votes for that year.
Directors serving on the Hall of Fame Selection Committee are not eligible for candidacy to the California BBQ Association Hall of Fame during the year(s) they serve on the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee will elect a committee chair to officiate and conduct the selection.
2. Nominations by active CBBQA members will be submitted in writing (by email) to the Hall of Fame Selection Committee between November 1st and November 20th and must include supporting evidence why the person is being nominated.
”’Nominees meeting the following criteria will become eligible candidates:”’
Minimum of five years membership in the CBBQA
Currently active membership in CBBQA
History of community service through CBBQA projects
History of competition (as cook, judge, rep or organizer)
History of educational service (training new teams or judges, community education, etc.)
Under certain circumstances where extraordinary contributions have been made, a member may be eligible for nomination if not all criteria are met, as determined by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
3. From the eligible candidates, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee may select up to three (3) inductees who receive a minimum of 60% of the vote by the committee. Committee chair will notify the CBBQA President of the selected inductee(s), by December 13th but inductee(s) will not be announced until the Annual Awards Banquet.
Revised September 20, 2017 by CBBQA Board of Directors
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