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High I Que

Side Dishes: Barbecue team goes upscale


On September 11, John Delpha, chef at The Belted Cow Bistro, will join his championship barbecue crew — dubbed I Que — in preparing a meal at the James Beard House in New York City.

Other team members include captain Chris Hart, original owner of Boston’s Tremont 647; that restaurant’s star chef, Andy Husbands; and a handful of other meat-ematicians. Delpha says the group is working on having space sectioned off in front of the Beard House on West 12th Street to hold the team’s smokers. He expects the menu to include passed appetizers and six plated courses. “At least one will be a KCBS [Kansas City Barbeque Society]-type meat as we would normally present it,” he says. “The rest will be glorified barbecue.”

Delpha spoke to Seven Days while heading home from winning the New England Barbecue Society Grilling Event at Roc City Rib Fest in Rochester, N.Y. His team’s victorious dishes included garlic-lemon-parmesan wings, lobster Alfredo pizza and burgers made from dry-aged ribeye and shortrib. Belted Cow fans may already have tried the dessert that accompanied them — grilled banana cheesecake parfait. I Que also competed in the KCBS-sanctioned barbecue section of the competition, which it lost by only two points.