Grill master's passion for cooking earns accolades outside Florida's borders


Kenneth Barton — with his daughter, Haley Bass, preparing brisket last year in Marianna — participates in as many barbecue contests as he can while operating his Crestview catering business.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 01:45 PM.

Simplicity is the secret when it comes to preparing barbecue, according to Kenneth Barton.

"Barbecue is simple; you don't need to make it into something that it is not," he said.

Barton should know. For the past four years he has earned nearly 50 top-placing prizes for his grill cooking. That includes his fourth consecutive year as grand champion of the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce's Triple B festival.

"It's getting to the point where I am running out of room in my house (for the awards)," he said.

His winning formula includes a homemade barbecue sauce that took first place at the  2013 Tri-States BBQ Festival in Dothan, Ala.

But it all began with childhood experiences in the kitchen. Barton's mother and grandmother taught him how to make homemade biscuits, he said.

Since then, passion for cooking has spurred his side business as owner and operator of Poverty Hill Smokers in Mossy Head. Barton primarily works with heavy machinery at Barton Construction in Defuniak Springs.

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