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Destination America's BBQ PITMASTERS Returns Tonight

'Tis the season to fire up the tailgate grills and serve smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving, so Destination America is delivering another mouth-watering season of the smokin' series BBQ PITMASTERS. The new season is taking fans across the country to the best barbecue competitions where each saucy bite puts reputations, respect and thousands of dollars on the line. A new twist this season showcases a fierce competition among the best in regional barbecue - from Atlanta, GA to Nashville, TN, Kansas City, MO to Charlotte, NC. Each city hosts three of the most hard-core barbecue grillers in that area as they compete for supreme barbecue bragging rights. Also, the line-up of judges returns with Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone and Aaron Franklin deciding the competitors' fates by blind-tasting the grilled creations to determine who is worthy of being crowned the ultimate Pitmaster in their region when the new season of BBQ PITMASTERS premieres tonight, November 17 at 9 PM (E/P).

"Barbecue is an entire culture unto itself and a full-blown year-round competitive sport featuring a cut-throat world of high-stakes events," said Marc Etkind, SVP of Content Strategy for Destination America. "During this season of football and tailgating, we thought it was a perfect time to bring back BBQ PITMASTERS - the greatest of all competitions -- a tournament of smoke and meat!"

In the premiere episode, viewers are invited to the Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival in Texas to see the three contenders -- Ernest Servantes (owner/pitmaster of Burnt Bean Co.), Harold "Buzzie" Hughes (owner/pitmaster of Buzzie's BBQ), and Will Fleischman (pitmaster of Lockharts Smokehouse) -- hit the smokers to fire up Texas specialties - brisket and cowboy steak. Will Servantes, winner of 100 BBQ trophies, prove to be worth his sauce? Could Wisconsin native and Julia Child fan, Fleishman show them how it's done? Or will Buzzie's BBQ burn the competition?

Also whetting BBQ fans' appetites, BBQ PITMASTERS judges Myron Mixon and Tuffy Stone will go head-to-head in the ULTIMATE BARBECUE SHOWDOWN special which pits master class BBQ chefs against one another. Myron and Tuffy can talk the talk but will one of them be the master of the grill in this culinary shootout? Other high level competitors include Neil "Bigmista" Strawder, and Bubba Latimar. The judging line-up for this special, premiering Saturday, December 1 at 9pm E/P, includes BBQ legend Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson, Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe and Mike Lake of Rock River BBQ Team.

About the BBQ PITMASTER Judges:

Myron Mixon: As a three-time world barbecue champion, Myron Mixon is the winningest man in all of barbecue. He is the chief cook of the Jack's Old South Bar-B-Que Team and a New York Times bestselling cookbook author. Since his first competition in 1996, Myron has won more than 180 grand championships and has built a barbecue brand with his own line of sauces, seasons, and custom-built smokers.

Tuffy Stone: Classically trained French chef and former Marine, Tuffy Stone, aka "The Professor," began researching slow cooking barbecue methods and in 2004, the Cool Smoke Team was born. Since then, Cool Smoke has won 30 grand championships in large part due to Tuffy's unique obsession with the physics and science of wood, smoke, spices, and molecular composition of meat to the point at which he creates barbecue perfection.

Aaron Franklin: At the encouragement of friends, Aaron Franklin began barbecuing his brisket out of a trailer on an East Austin parking lot in late 2009. He and his wife debuted Franklin BBQ to rave reviews from patrons and press alike, with Bon Appetit even hailing their barbecue as the best in America. The Franklins have since outgrown their trailer, but Franklin BBQ's line is as long as ever, and the restaurant has sold out of brisket every day of its existence.

BBQ PITMASTERS is produced for Destination America by Original Media. For Original Media, Jay Peterson, Charlie Corwin, and John Markus are executive producers. For Destination America, Ron Simon and Fay Yu are executive producers, Sara Kozak is SVP of production, Marc Etkind is SVP of content strategy, and Henry Schleiff is president and general manager.

About Destination America:


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