Kansas City’s Ollie Gates and Arthur Bryant have been inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
A ceremony hosted by the American Royal Association was held last weekend at the Kansas Speedway.
Ollie Gates was born in Kansas City. After going to school and joining the army, he returned to and joined his family’s barbecue business. The business expanded and Gates Bar-B-Q now has six locations, according to the restaurant’s website.
Arthur Bryant got a job working for barbecue master Henry Perry in 1931 and took over the business in 1946. He added molasses to Perry’s vinegar-based recipe. Bryant died at age 80 in 1982. Arthur Bryant’s is located at 1727 Brooklyn Ave.
Meathead Goldwyn, Rodney Scott and Lyttle Brides were also selected as inductees this year.
The Barbecue Hall of Fame became part of the American Royal Association in 2012. In the following years, it faced some criticism: author and barbecue judge Adrian Miller wrote in 2018 that the hall of fame excluded people of color. At the time, only one of the 27 inductees was African American.
Later that year, Miller joined the nominating board.
Kim Palmer, a spokeswoman for the American Royal Association, said of the 34 most recent inductees, eight were African American and one was Native American.
The public submits nominations for the hall of fame and a committee chooses semi-finalists. The committee and living inductees vote on the final selection, Palmer said.