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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Big Lee’s BBQ owner beats Bobby Flay in Food Network wing cook-off

A local restaurateur claimed victory over a popular Food Network personality on the same day that he opened his first brick and mortar location in Ocala.

Rashad Jones, who owns Big Lee’s Barbecue, was declared the champion of Beat Bobby Flay during an airing of the food competition show on Food Network on July 6.

The episode, which was part of season 34 of the popular series, featured a showdown between Jones, Kent Rollins, and Bobby Flay.

In the first round, Jones and Rollins squared off with top sirloin cap as their main ingredient. Using that ingredient, Jones cooked up a barbecue smoked top sirloin cap and cheddar sandwich.

In the final round, Flay went head-to-head with Jones to see who could make Jones’ signature dish, barbecue chicken wings, better.

Jones made a smoked barbecue wing, with a blueberry barbecue sauce, grilled corn ribs, and a slaw.

The wings were judged by three guest tasters: Robbie Shoults, the vice president of Bear Creek Smokehouse; Mama Tanya, the creator and host of Mama Tanya’s Kitchen; and Hugh Mangum, the chef and co-founder of Rise Donuts and Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue.

After a close battle, the tasters awarded the win to Jones, saying that they chose the dish that was more cohesive.

“This is a dream come true. I got a chance to go up against the OG, and I took him down,” said Jones after the victory.

Jones is no stranger to the spotlight, having been featured in multiple Food Network competitions in the past, including Guy’s Grocery Games in 2017 and BBQ Brawl in 2022. Since then, Jones has stayed busy, opening his first Big Lee’s Barbecue brick and mortar location in Ocala at 2611 SW 19th Avenue Road on July 6.

To read more about the episode of Beat Bobby Flay, or any of Rashad Jones’ other appearances on the channel, visit the Food Network website.

Earlier this summer, pastry chef Yohann Le Bescond, who works at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, also appeared on the Food Network. Le Bescond competed in the inaugural Summer Baking Championship, making it to the finals of the competition.