Metro-East News

Murphysboro man wins Food Network cooking competition

A Murphysboro man used his barbecue skills to win a recent edition of a cooking competition on the Food Network, according to the Southern Illinoisan.

Joe Gray took home the first place prize of $10,000 on “Cooks vs. Cons,” a show where two professional cooks face off against two amateurs, who try to convince judges that they are the professionals.

Gray competed on episode 10 of season five, where the theme of the day was Ballpark BBQ with host Geoffrey Zakarian and judges Daphne Oz and Marcus Samuelsson. The episode aired July 5.

Part of Gray’s cooking expertise comes from his membership in the Murphysboro-based Ninja Pigs Barbecue Team, which competes annually in the Praise the Lard Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-Off, the Southern Illinoisan reports.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6

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