BBQ Showdown judge Melissa Cookston remains healthy with no illness at the age of 56!

Melissa Cookston's background gives her the skills to create balanced meals that align with her health goals.


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Netflix’s Barbecue Showdown Judge Melissa Cookston has always focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and even at the age of 56, she continues to enjoy good health without any major illness.

A look at Melissa’s recent Instagram posts shows subtle changes in her appearance, including a slightly leaner face with more defined cheekbones.

It has led to speculation about the health of Melissa Cookston, but she has not publicly addressed the rumors about her weight loss or discussed suffering from any specific illness.

As a chef and barbecue expert, Melissa has extensive knowledge of nutrition and food preparation, giving her a unique advantage in managing her diet effectively.

The American Barbecue Showdown

IMDb Game-Show Reality-TV

Food competition that follows the country’s best backyard smokers and competitive barbecuers as they compete for the title of American Barbecue Champion

Release DateSeptember 18, 2020
StudioMaverick Television, All3Media America
CastLyric Lewis, Melissa Cookston, Rutledge Wood
Runtime44 minutes
WritersKevin Bludso, Melissa Cookston, Delilah Winder

Melissa Cookston excels in mastering barbecue smoke but does not like the one from Cigarette!

For a while, many viewers of BBQ competition shows have had strong opinions about Melissa Cookston, often pointing to her tough manner and unique voice as reasons they don’t like her.

Some believe she must be a heavy smoker due to her husky voice and have compared her sound to that of someone who has smoked multiple packs of cigarettes daily for many years.

However, it is important to note that there is no confirmed proof that Melissa Cookston smokes or that her voice is the result of smoking.

Moreover, as a renowned BBQ chef, Melissa’s voice and manner may simply be part of her persona in the highly competitive and intense world of BBQ judging.

Meanwhile, Melissa Cookston is an expert on barbecue smoke, which plays a crucial role in enhancing flavors. As a seasoned pitmaster and judge, she understands the complexity of smoke.

Additionally, her skill in managing smoke levels shows her technical expertise and understanding of how smoke enhances meat flavors, defining her culinary style.

Nevertheless, Melissa Cookston’s expertise and success in BBQ are undeniable. Further, she continues to be a prominent figure in the industry, teaching new pitmasters how to enhance barbecue dishes.

Additional Information

  • Melissa Cookston was born in Ruleville, Mississippi, and grew up in Greenville and Pontotoc, Mississippi.
  • She is the owner and chef of two restaurants and the author of two cookbooks, ‘Smokin’ Hot in the South’ and ‘Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room.’
  • BBQ Showdown judge Melissa is the seven-time world American barbecue champion and is the only female American barbecue work champion. She has won twice the top prize at the Memphis in the May American Barbecue World Championship.
Janavi Rajbhandari
Janavi Rajbhandari
Currently studying computer science, I am diving into the complex world of technology. I also have a deep passion for writing and storytelling which is how I found my true calling as a content writer. I have combined the logical thinking that I learned from computer science with my creative side to offer a unique perspective.


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