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A podcast about the everyday heroes, renegades and visionaries who shaped Kansas City.

KCUR's Mackenzie Martin selected as James Beard nominee

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Martin's work uncovering the history of Henry Perry, the self-proclaimed "barbecue king" of Kansas City, was selected as a finalist in Audio Reporting.

The James Beard Foundation announced the 2022 Media Award Nominees for outstanding achievements in Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism today, and KCUR’s A People’s History of Kansas City podcast producer and reporter Mackenzie Martin is a nominee for the Audio Reporting award. This award recognizes excellence in reporting about food and/or food issues in radio or podcasts.

The podcast submitted was the popular episode, "Kansas City's Barbecue King.” A People’s History of Kansas City is a KCUR Studios podcast hosted by Suzanne Hogan about the everyday heroes, renegades and visionaries who shaped Kansas City.

In this episode, Martin turns our attention to Henry Perry, the self-professed “barbecue king” of Kansas City in the early 1900s. Even though two of the most famous Kansas City barbecue restaurants trace their style of barbecue directly back to Perry, few Kansas Citians grew up knowing his story — including his own granddaughter. As Martin traces the origin of Kansas City’s iconic export through the influence of a single Black entrepreneur, she underscores the importance of questioning who gets celebrated and why, and reminds us that we’re all culpable for making sure important legacies aren’t forgotten.

Martin joins fellow Audio Reporting nominees Lisa H. Morehouse of the KQED California Foodways podcast and Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern and Andres O’Hara of The Sporkful Podcast. Winners will be announced on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at the James Beard Foundation’s Media Awards ceremony in Chicago.

The announcement comes the same week that A People’s History of Kansas City’s newest episode is unveiled. “100 Years of the Plaza” explores how J.C. Nichols' vision still looms large over the Country Club Plaza as well as what's in store for the Plaza's uncertain future.

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