Seven-hour braised brisket on a buttermilk biscuit with scallion sour cream, red beet horseradish, and microcelery.
John Brown's Smokehouse
The 2012 winner; "Bright and sweet fois gras and black truffle jus."
Simon Glenn, Tchoup Shop
Brisket and duck liver boudin ball. Boudin is a Cajun sausage normally made with pork and pork liver, but Glenn used brisket and duck liver with "peppers and whatnot" on a brioche roll, topped with homemade creole mustard and bread and butter pickles. The "Best Non-Brisket Brisket" winner, and one of our top eats.
Will Horowitz, Ducks Eatery
Will used his great-grandfather's old pastrami recipe with brisket burnt ends; he pickled it for 2 weeks, smoked it, steamed it, and served it with a take on northern Thai som tum salad (replacing the green papaya with raw butternut squash), and homemade deli-style mustard with fermented black garlic. One of our top-top favorites.
Chef Robbie Richter
Chef Richter braised his brisket in fish sauce and palm sugar, then served it with rice noodles in a lettuce wrap, topped with crispy shallots, fried anchovies, and peanuts. It was a sweet and refreshing bite, worthy of finishing the whole portion (and licking your fingers afterward.)
John Stage, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
16-hr brisket with barbecue sauce, pickled onions and jalapeño. Our neighborhood gem (we live in Harlem and lower Washington Heights), Stage's brisket had the classic sticky-sweet smoky sauce with a tiny bit of heat.
A butcher shop first and restaurant second, this pork and beef barbecue haven served up candied brisket deckle with pickled mirepoix salad: dill-pickled celery, sweet red onion pickles, and spicy yellow and red heirloom carrot pickles. They took home the "Most Innovative Brisket" award.
Ari White, Pit boss of Hakadosh BBQ & Texas Roadside Smokehouse
Pit master White served up melting pecan- and red oak-smoked brisket, jalapeno cornbread, and pickled watermelon rinds that brought us away from the bitter February wind into the heart of back-porch barbecue summers.
Moroccan taboon-roasted brisket with tomato jam, preserved lemons, cilantro, pickled onions, and tahini sauce.
A closer look at the brisket.
Oak- and maple-smoked brisket with smoked burnt end chili, housemade chili con queso, pickled jalapeno salsa, diced red onion, and blue corn tortilla dust on a potato roll.
Beer braised brisket with caramelized onions, gravy, and Gruyere cheese on an Orwashers potato bun, with warm jus. That jus was the clincher.
Dan Delaney, BrisketTown
"We have brisket, straightforward brisket," said crowned Brisket King Delaney. His brisket was given a salt and pepper rub, then smoked over white oak "until it's done, which can be anywhere between 15 and 20 hours, depending on the brisket." It's cooked outdoors in Bushwick; "we can produce a product that, except for our zip code, is basically cooked to a T to how it's done in central Texas, from the wood to the cooking outdoors to just the simple salt-and-pepper rub."
Hugh Manghum, Mighty Quinn's
Serving brisket the way they do at the restaurant, Magnum's came out of the pit 2 1/2 hours before the event. "No frills, just brisket with salt and pepper, no sauce, nothing." Fatty, melting soft, and deliciously salty, this was one of our favorite plates.
Jimmy's No. 43
Brisket with Jamaican jerk rub with cocoa powder in it, braised with Young's Double Chocolate Stout.