Griller extraordinaire and BBQ expert Fergola plots competitions, classes and tasty seasonings

Since appearing on season 6 of Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters,” griller extraordinaire and co-owner of Fergolicious BBQ Richard Fergola says things have just continued to speed up.

 

Fergola and his partner Jeremy Williams’s episode of Pitmasters aired April 25, 2014. At that time, they had been grilling together for two years, and now—five years later—the duo take their BBQ rig and travel the country looking for the next challenging BBQ competition.


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Fergola is a native Topekan, with family still living in the area. He and his grilling partner live in Gardner and have taught in the area for approximately the past two decades.

Last week, Fergolicioius BBQ traveled to Pensacola, Fla., to compete in the 8th Annual Smokin’ in the Square Kansas City Barbeque Society national BBQ competition.

“Locally we’ve done so many competitions it just starts to get repetitive, so we’ve begun traveling more for different competitors, and the change of scenery,” Fergola said.

Fergolicious also now offers two rubs to be used on virtually anything: tomatoes, corn, duck, chicken, eggs, beef, pork and any other food that needs a little seasoning. This month, they unveiled their newest rub, the “Sweet Sweet Luv Rub” to accompany their debut, the simple “Luv Rub.”

Fergola said that their rubs are available at 250 stores nationwide and locally at all Topeka Westlake Ace Hardware stores, Patio Pool and Fireside at 3109 SW Huntoon, and Herman’s Meat and Smokehouse at 4211 SW Huntoon.

He also teased that a third rub would be unveiled in the next few weeks.

After making their television debut, Williams and Fergola began catering and teaching classes, in addition to their traveling competitions, teaching careers and families.

Their website, fergoliciousbbq.com, lists all the BBQ classes they offer, which vary between competition and backyard classes.

“The backyard pitmaster class is just for your everyday Joe who wants to learn how to grill things like chicken, pork loin, ribs, brisket, steak, and even a BBQ bloody mary,” Fergola said.

The backyard class costs $99 for a four-hour class, in which participants will learn how to trim, prepare, season, cook and slice various meats as well as learn how to light a fire, the proper equipment and accessories needed for grilling, timelines for cooking and the different types of fuels that can be used. Any and all BBQ problems and questions will also be answered.

The next class will be held from 4-8 p.m. April 1 in the pair’s hometown, Gardner, at Trails West Ace Hardware. There is a 30-seat limit, so Fergola recommends that interested grillers RSVP as soon as possible.

When asked if there was a restaurant in the works, Fergola didn’t give a definite “no” but also said that there are no immediate plans. He mentioned that Gardner could be an option, or Olathe, Overland Park or even Topeka.

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