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2024 Girls Can Grill Pro Team

2024 Girls can grill Pro Team.2024 Girls can grill Pro Team.

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The Girls Can Grill Scholarship enables nine young women to pursue their dreams of competitive barbecue

Release date: April 10, 2024

LAS VEGAS – Barbecue has long been considered a male-dominated field, but nine young women from across the nation are breaking barriers and making their mark on the competition circuit.

Thanks to their dedication, skill and unwavering determination, Girls Can Grill, a leading online resource for grilling and BBQ, is proud to name these nine girls as recipients of the 2024 Girls Can Grill Scholarship.

Founded in 2015 by famed pitmaster Christie Vanover, Girls Can Grill has been a driving force in promoting inclusivity and women’s empowerment in the world of barbecue. Vanover has won multiple state barbecue championships, is the 2023 Nevada BBQ Team of the Year and appeared on Season 4 of Food Network’s BBQ Brawl.

“I launched the Girls Can Grill Pro Team in 2023 to support MacKenna York, a young girl from Utah who had an infectious passion for competition barbecue,” said Vanover. “She showed up at every competition with a smile and always cheered on her fellow contestants.”

Inspired by the incredible talent she witnessed, Vanover expanded the program this year to include more deserving young women.

The Girls Can Grill Scholarship will provide financial assistance to help with competition costs, ensuring these girls can continue to pursue their dreams and showcase their skills on the barbecue circuit.

2024 GCG Pro Team

The 2024 Girls Can Grill Scholarship recipients are as follows:

  • MacKenna York (16) – Team Moodyteenbbq of Herriman, Utah.
  • Raelyn Barker (12) – Team Chupacabra of Three Rivers, Texas.
  • Sammie (13), Katie (11) e Abby Hoffmann (9) – Lucky Team Ladies BBQ of Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Jocelyn (16), Brooklyn (14), Addy (12) e Katie Moody (7) – Team Moodswing BBQ from Hendersonville, Tennessee.
MacKenna York holds the first place trophy. MacKenna York holds the first place trophy.
MacKenna York

York began barbecuing when he was 13 and competed twice at the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) World Championships in the adult division. She has won two SCA steak championships and was the grand champion at the 2024 Slab-O-Rama Kids Que in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Raelyn Barker holding a lobsterRaelyn Barker holding a lobster
Raelyn Barker

Barker began competing on the gridiron at the age of five and already has several noteworthy victories under his belt. She is the Master Chef Junior Home for the Holidays Champion, the Bum Philips Champion, the American Royal World Series Jr. BBQ Reserve Grand Champion and the World Championship Bar-B-Que Jr. Cook-off Reserve Grand Champion.

Lucky Team Ladies BBQLucky Team Ladies BBQ
Sammie, Katie and Abby Hoffman of Lucky Ladies BBQ

The Hoffman girls started barbecuing about four years ago. Abby has won two Kids Que first place competitions. Katie won two second place awards and together Abby and Katie won as a first place team. Sammie just started competing and recently won fourth place in the Kids Que division for older children.

BBQ Moodswing at the SCA World Championships. BBQ Moodswing at the SCA World Championships.
Addy, Katie, Brooklyn and Jocelyn Moody of Moodswing BBQ

The Moodys have been grilling as a family since 2018. Together, they have over 30 first place wins and over 50 top 10 calls. They have earned these awards in both the Kids Q and Adult divisions.

BBQ plans for 2024

The girls have big BBQ plans for 2024 and are excited about the GCG scholarship opportunity.

“It means a lot to me,” Barker said. “It shows how much GCG believes in me. It is also a great help in allowing me to pursue my culinary goals and dreams!”

Barker will compete at the 2024 American Royal in Kansas, conduct demos for Smoke Slam and Memphis in May in Tennessee and plans to compete in the World Junior BBQ League.

Lucky Ladies BBQ will compete in Nevada this summer and fall. They are also sharing their knowledge by teaching other children how to grill at an upcoming charity event.

“It is an honor to be part of the Girls Can Grill legacy,” said Team Lucky Ladies BBQ. “The grant will help us pay for participation in competitions and also test and refine recipes.”

In addition to helping mom with barbecue lessons and demonstrations, the Moody girls will continue to compete on the SCA circuit. They are also starting to use social media to share their love of barbecue and new grilling experiments.

York will continue to compete on the SCA circuit and is aiming to earn a golden ticket to the 2025 world championships for the third consecutive year.

“I love barbecue so much because I get to meet a lot of new people and travel to new places,” York said. “Another reason I love barbecue so much is because I love the atmosphere and the people I compete with.

“I also like to be successful, get awards and beat my parents,” he joked.

Vanover is proud to support these young women and provide them with the resources they need to thrive.

“I believe in these girls and I am here to serve as a mentor to help them grow,” she said. “I’m also excited to see their personal creativity and culinary innovation. They are the next generation of female pitmasters.


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