Sloan Rinaldi: Where is the Barbecue Showdown Contestant Now?

With Sloan Rinaldi admittedly having evolved into a pitmaster in the later years of her life and still achieving great success, there is proof it is never too late to start a new chapter in life. Her participation in Netflix’s ‘Barbecue Showdown‘ season 3 only elucidates this further, especially since she showcases every step of the way that what truly matters is passion and perseverance. That’s how she actually managed to not only win most rounds but also ultimately secure third position despite often struggling with self-doubt owing to her lack of technical experience.

Sloan Rinaldi’s Prioritised Flavor Above All Else

At the age of 60, Sloan made it clear from the moment she first came across our screens that she is a Texan through and through, as a result of which some of her ways are rather traditional. Therefore, she focused primarily on taste as well as quality, particularly in those challenges where she had to step outside her comfort zone, and it resulted in her leaving a mark in the competition. It was the beer and fast food rounds that troubled her most since she never really had a taste for either, only for her to actually win them and prove to herself she could accomplish anything — but alas, she was unable to cross the finish line to earn the title of Champion.

“When [Netflix] called, I was all in immediately. It was a really exciting opportunity,” Sloan has since candidly revealed to Houston Life. “Tens of thousands applied, but the producers had a select group of us they totally selected to bring in. They wanted us to participate, bottom line. “They are bringing global flavors that I’ve never seen in barbecue; I totally felt a little intimidated. I’m not a person who lacks confidence typically, so I definitely felt imposter syndrome. I never even knew what that was before.” But in the end, she added, “If you have a passion, if you have a skill, and you’re willing to do the work, there is nothing you cannot do, no matter the industry.”

Sloan Rinaldi is Still a Proud 4th-Generation Pitmaster

It was admittedly a “lightbulb moment” that drove Sloan down the path of barbequing in the 2010s despite already having a successful 32-year-long career in commercial landscape development. The Houston, Texas, native had realized this form of cooking came rather naturally to her thanks to the fact she hails from a family of pitmasters, starting with her great-grandfather back in 1909. She, thus, had a custom pit built for herself, which soon culminated in her establishing her own Texas craft barbecue company by the name of Texas Q, which prides itself on being a safe place for women in this industry.

As for Texas Q’s vision, it is to stick to what barbeque really means by using all-natural prime beef, pork, and poultry, along with spice blends as well as sauces to have the perfect comfort meal. It, hence, comes as no surprise Sloan has also since updated and perfected some long-held family recipes for her brand’s menu, all the while developing a line of barbecue sauces, rubs, plus blends. Her sauces were even briefly sold in HEB stores across the state at one point, only for it to inadvertently drive this 2018 ‘Chopped: Grillmasters Tournament’ participant to expand by opening a food truck in 2021 too.

Besides Barbecuing, Sloan Rinaldi’s Heart Belongs to Her Furry Babies

If there’s one thing Sloan has never shied away from, it’s that she is a family-oriented woman, with it extending to not just her blood relatives but also her close friends and adorable fur babies. In fact, whenever she’s not working, she prefers to spend quality time with loved ones by either watching sports games together, having great meals, or simply hanging out for no particular reason at all. As for her pets, this Kingwood resident, who admittedly loves a cup of coffee right in the morning, has a small army of dogs — Parker, Gracie, Finn, and Snoop — always keeping her company no matter what.

We should also mention Sloan prides herself on staying true to who she is both personally and professionally, whether as a liberal Texan, sports enthusiast, pitmaster, or culinary entrepreneur. It’s even imperative to note that while she does plan on continuing to take barbecuing to new levels, she faced physical troubles recently following a freak accident that left one of her arms in a sling. Around mid-May 2024, she actually shattered a clavicle while redoing her backyard. She somehow tripped, and the arm of her wheelbarrow impaled her leading to complications. We wish the spirited 60-year-old a speedy recovery and can’t wait to see what’s in store for her next.

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