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Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

BBQ is a cuisine. BBQ is an event. BBQ is a flavor. BBQ is a sport. BBQ is an occupation. BBQ is a tradition. BBQ means so many things, different things, to so many people, but for a select few of us, BBQ is a way of life. There is no question that this is the case for Dave Anderson, one of the patriarch’s of BBQ. 

On November 3, 2014, the very thing that fueled Dave’s way of life and allowed him to produce some of the best BBQ in America did it’s best to destroy the heart and soul of his professional life when fire destroyed the original Famous Dave’s restaurant in Hayward, WI. A lesser man may have succumb to the stress and pressure associated with such a devastating loss to his livelihood and legacy, but not Dave. Dave saw it as an opportunity. 

Famous Dave's Burns

We’ll never forget Dave’s Facebook post of November 7, 2014 where he said:

“You can’t stop a man who won’t quit! Hayward Wisconsin means a lot to me as it is home to my Mom’s family and also the birthplace of a national icon BBQ restaurant chain. Famous Dave Anderson said…The Original Famous Dave’s has meant to much to the development of my career as a passionate lover of barbecue but also the culmination of a lifelong dream come true. At first the shock of this fire was emotionally tough on Kathy and me as this dream was 25 years in the making. This wasn’t just a restaurant that burned down but it was my lifelong dream that kept me going through thick or thin. The Original Famous Dave’s has given so many young people their first start in their careers and helped many summer college kids pay their way through school. We have hosted countless weddings, anniversaries, birthday’s, family reunions, and millions of raving loyal fans that have traveled countless miles to visit The Original Famous Dave’s… that we are anxious to rebuild and get back to making our beloved barbecue fanatics delightfully happy! I have complete faith in the Bible verse Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

So many lifelong customers and friends of Famous Dave’s have reached out to share their support and encouragement through their thoughts and prayers for which we are encouraged, humble, and grateful. In addition, we have heard from so many industry vendors and suppliers have offered their help and support for us to get back up and operating America’s Best Loved BBQ Joint! here in Hayward, Wisconsin.

It is our goal to be up and running by June 21, 2015 on Father’s Day which will give us the necessary time to get back into the swing of things by next year’s 4th of July. We are also looking into the feasibility of taking our Conference Center and turning into a makeshift BBQ Shack to help keep a core of our invaluable “Famous” team members employed and also to continue serving up great tasting barbecue to our loyal fans while we are rebuilding. However, we need to figure out what health and other “official” requirements are needed to make this happen and how fast we can get this done. But we are encouraged because we have gotten word that much of the usual “red tape” will be expedited so that we can get back up and running as this landmark restaurant has meant so much to the local Hayward community.”

Dave beat his own goal of opening a new BBQ joint by more than two months and like the phoenix rising from the ashes opened Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse in Hayward, WI on April 14, 2015.

old-southern-bbq-smokehouse 2

As if opening a new restaurant concept in less than 6 months wasn’t enough, Dave has already opened a second Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse in Rice Lake, WI and we have no doubt more are on the way. Dave has always been an inspiration to BBQ entrepreneur’s like ourselves, turning his first concept, Famous Dave’s, into a nationally recognized restaurant powerhouse. His resilience in the face of adversity has done nothing but increase the inspiration he provides and makes us all want to challenge ourselves more when we face common obstacles, let alone life altering ones like losing a restaurant to fire.      

Dave Anderson - Old S BBQ

Prominently inscribed on one of Old Southern BBQ Smokehouses walls is a quote from Dave’s dad, James Anderson, “Generous use of my BBQ sauce could bring world peace.” In a time when the world could use some peace we hope everyone gets a chance to taste Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse’s BBQ sauce!

On December 23rd we’ll unveil the 8th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.

To date we’ve announced the 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #8 BBQ Story of 2015. 

 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

BBQ Show Collage

If you haven’t been stranded on a desert island you know that BBQ and grilling are SMOKING HOT in America right now! If BBQ were in line to have an IPO on the DOW or NASDAQ it would be met with a buzz similar to that enjoyed by Facebook or Shack Shack as they made their way into our financial lexicon and the portfolios of millions of investors. Simply put, betting on BBQ is a safer bet than doubling down in blackjack when you’ve been dealt two aces. BBQ is a sure bet, at least as sure of a bet as exists, and there are many gamblers going all in when it comes to BBQ!

If you turned on your TV in 2015, you probably came face to face with the reality that TV producers and networks are among those placing the largest wager on the popularity of BBQ in America. BBQ on TV isn’t new, it’s just hotter than it has ever been. From Food Network to Destination America and Cooking Channel to PBS and Travel Channel to the networks, BBQ and grilling shows are popping up everywhere. 2015 also became the year when BBQ broke even further into the world of commercials, with BBQ themed commercials from GEICOBank of AmericaNexium, and Burlington Coat Factory to name a few. We were even lucky enough to break into the world of commercials this year filming BBQ themed commercials for Choice Hotels and Dunn & Brandstreet.

More BBQ on TV is a good thing for the health and growth of BBQ in America. It introduces the cuisine, lifestyle and sport that we all love so much to countless potential new BBQ lovers. That means more people eating at BBQ restaurants, purchasing BBQ sauce and spice rub, buying new grills and smokers, adding BBQ cookbooks to their bookshelves and/or competing in their first BBQ contests. That also means more opportunities for BBQ pitmasters, BBQ businesses, and BBQ restaurants to increase their stature and diversify potential revenue streams.

More BBQ TV = Good For BBQ in general and the BBQ pitmasters/BBQ businesses and BBQ restaurants who make a living from BBQ

Our Top 5 BBQ TV Shows in 2015 are:

#5 – BBQ Pit Wars – As BBQ competitors it is always great to see a show based on the competition world. You get a chance to see your friends on TV, you might even see yourself on TV if you were cooking the right competition at the right time, get a secret or two for the low price of watching the show, confirm if you are doing something right or wrong based on the success or failure of the shows participants and share a little bit of your weekend life with friends and family. 

The second season of BBQ Pit Wars was, in our opinion, a stronger season than the first. If it gets a third season it would be great to see a bit more diversity in contest locations and a refresh of the teams who participate on the show. We like the idea of the team who wins the season securing a slot in the next season while the three losing teams are replaced by three new teams. This would raise the stakes of the show and give at least three new teams the chance to participate every year. 

#4 – Chopped Grillmasters – After a several year hiatus it was good to see the Food Network bring Chopped Grillmasters back. If there is one downfall in the world of competition BBQ it is that it doesn’t reward risk taking and creativity. Like it or not, we all know if we want a chance to hear our name called at awards there is a narrow line the judges are looking for and we must not cross it if we hope to be successful. The reality is BBQ is filled with talented cooks and chefs who, when given the opportunity, can do some pretty remarkable things over a live fire. We loved seeing so many of our friends forced to step outside of their comfort zone of ribs, chicken, brisket and pork and be forced to think outside the box with some odd ball ingredients in very short windows of time. The results were for the most part very impressive!

#3 -BBQ Pitmasters – BBQ Pitmasters set the tone for the influx of BBQ related shows and has changed formats several times over the course of its history. We still don’t find the show as satisfying as the first season, but it remains a favorite can’t miss show. In its current format, it is a hybrid mix of BBQ Pit Wars and Chopped Grillmasters. It isn’t the pure competition format of Pit Wars and it isn’t the adrenaline rush format of being told you have 15 minutes to create a world class dish using squash blossoms, beaten biscuits, durian, crickets and lobster over an open fire. It sets somewhere comfortably in between. 

Where the show has improved upon itself in recent seasons is its current iteration of judges. The mix of personality, chemistry and acumen is perfect between Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone & Moe Cason, all very accomplished pitmasters in their own right. Where the show has faltered in our opinion is in two areas: 1) It often tries to get too cute with a quick challenge filled with “Made For TV Drama” that just doesn’t work. We want to see the show focus on the main event, seasoned pitmasters doing what they do best, not determining if they can turn rattlesnake into an Amuse Bouche in 15 minutes, and 2) It is as if the same pitmasters are asked to return to the show year after year. While there certainly should be opportunity for pitmasters to return, there should also be opportunity for fresh casting each year, which would help keep the show fresh and provide additional accomplished pitmasters the opportunity to introduce themselves and share their talents with viewers. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of qualified pitmasters cooking from coast-to-coast who we’d like to see on the show. Simply put, let’s see some new pitmasters next season!

#2 – BBQ Crawl – BBQ Crawl is Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on steroids for the BBQ lover. There are so many amazing BBQ joints across the country and most of us aren’t lucky enough to travel from coast-to-coast to try them all, but we’re able to live vicariously through Diva Q as she does just that. When we’re lucky enough to find ourselves traveling around the country we’ve followed Diva’s advice and visited a few of her favorite stops. The thing that really takes this show to the next level are the episodes that find Diva Q competing in a local BBQ contest. We love this aspect of the show for many of the same reasons we listed above under BBQ Pit Wars (You get a chance to see your friends on TV, you might even see yourself on TV if you were cooking the right competition at the right time, get a secret or two for the low price of watching the show, confirm if you are doing something right or wrong based on the success or failure of the shows participants and share a little bit of your weekend life with friends and family.) Additionally, we love that she shares the spotlight with her BBQ friends on each episode, inviting them to visit BBQ joints and cook BBQ competitions with her! 

#1 – BBQ with Franklin –  BBQ with Franklin is hands down our favorite BBQ show of 2015. What could be bad about one of the greatest minds in BBQ giving us, the viewer, an in depth and often scientific understanding of wood, meat, seasoning, pits and even a failed attempt at competing (again proving that BBQ judges often cause us to scratch our heads as we’re sure that the Que Aaron turned in, which was surly outside the box of traditional competition BBQ, was way preferable to many of the entries turned in – we know we’d rather eat Aaron’s BBQ than what we turn in on just about every Saturday we compete). We can’t wait to see what Aaron has in store for viewers next season!

2015 was indeed a great year for BBQ on TV and we have no doubt the airwaves will be filled with even more great BBQ TV in 2016, which is only good for BBQ!

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #9 BBQ Story of 2015. 

 

 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 Coming Soon!!

Top 10

2015 has been a big year for BBQ. Across America more and more people are making BBQ a part of their life by bringing grills and smokers into their backyards, opening new BBQ restaurants in all 50 states, starting sauce and rub companies and competing on the professional BBQ circuit for the first time. Simply put, BBQ is HOT!

In 2013 we named our list of the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ to cheers and jeers from the BBQ world. This year, beginning on Monday, December 21, we will unveil our list of the Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015. We want to hear your feedback – did we miss a story that you think should have been on our Top 10 list? Did we list a story on our Top 10 list that just wouldn’t have made the cut on your list? We hope you’ll join in the discussion as we look back on BBQ in 2015! Don’t forget to check the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog on Monday, December 21 for the number 10 BBQ story of 2015.

 

 

Pork Barrel BBQ – Sam’s Club Shark Tank Update

We were once again honored to have ABC film an update on our success for Shark Tank. This was our third update and it highlighted our All-American Spice Rub hitting the shelves at all Sam’s Club stores across America!

 

Pork Barrel BBQ Wins 2014 Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 25, 2014

Media Contacts: Heath Hall – porkbarrelbbq@porkbarrelbbq.com

Pork Barrel BBQ Wins 2014 Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle

Grand Champion Competition BBQ Team Qualifies to Compete at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue Invitational and Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue

Washington, DC (June 25, 2014) – The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team has been crowned the Grand Champion of the 2014 Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle. As winner of the only barbecue championship in Washington, D.C. sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society the team receives an automatic invitation to two of the most prestigious contests on the professional barbecue competition circuit – the American Royal World Series of Barbecue KC Masterpiece Invitational Contest in Kansas City, Missouri and the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

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“It is always an honor to win a Grand Championship, but to win a contest like the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle with such a strong field of teams in our own backyard is as good as it gets,” said Heath Hall, co-founder and President of Pork Barrel BBQ. “If it weren’t for our amazing sponsors Reser’s Fine Foods, ICEHOLE Coolers, Butcher BBQ, East Coast Smokin’ Wood and Meyer Natural Angus, we wouldn’t be able to compete on the highest level of competition barbecue.”

“It’s a huge honor to be named Grand Champion at the Safeway Barbecue Battle for the second time in four years,” said Brett Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Pork Barrel BBQ. “It is especially meaningful to win in our hometown where we founded our barbecue sauce company and opened the Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant.”

Over 100,000 people attended the 22nd annual Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle in Washington, DC during the two-day competition on June 21st and 22nd. The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition Team competed against multiple current and former world champion barbecue teams in this year’s contest including Tuffy Stone’s Cool Smoke, Myron Mixon’s Jack’s Old South and Johnny Trigg’s Smokin Triggers. In addition to being named Grand Champion, the team also won the Perdue Sizzlin Chicken National Chicken Championship and took third place in the National Pork Championship.

This is the sixth consecutive year the Pork Barrel BBQ Competition Team has competed in the  Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle. There is extra meaning to this competition for Hall and Thompson as it marked the first contest they competed in as Pork Barrel BBQ in 2009 and was the site of their first Grand Championship in 2011. It is also the contest that helped launch their line of national award-winning BBQ sauces when they entered their favorite homemade BBQ Sauce in the contests 2009 “Nations Best BBQ Sauce Contest” and won Second Place. A year later, in 2010, their Sweet BBQ Sauce was named the event’s “Chinet People’s Choice” award winner for best BBQ sauce.

The sauce company’s co-founders, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson, are recognized as two of the most creative and entrepreneurial minds in barbecue. Since their appearance on ABC’s hit reality TV show Shark Tank in 2009, they have expanded their business from creating BBQ sauces and spice rubs in their home kitchens to selling their national award-winning BBQ products in more than 5,000 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe including Safeway, Costco, Menards, Whole Foods, Giant, The Fresh Market, Kroger, Albertsons, and Giant Eagle. Their BBQ sauces have been named the Supreme BBQ Sauce in America by Cook’s Illustrated magazine, Best BBQ Sauce in America by Men’s Health magazine and One of the Best BBQ Sauces in America by Country Living magazine and they have been named to the list of Best New BBQ Pit Masters and Grill Geniuses by Food & Wine magazine.

In addition to producing award-winning BBQ sauces and rubs the company is the maker of Que Cologne – the world’s first Eau de Barbeque, operate the Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia and their inaugural cookbook, the free Pork Barrel BBQ Guide to Tailgating, received praise from food and sports fans across America. They continue to earn support from avid barbecue fans with their top-ranked Pork Barrel BBQ Blog and as the most followed BBQ company on twitter (http://www.twitter.com/porkbarrelbbq).

For more information, visit the Pork Barrel BBQ website http://www.porkbarrelbbq.com and read about their latest updates and adventures on Facebook, Twitter and the company’s blog.

About Pork Barrel BBQ

Pork Barrel BBQ was founded in December 2008 during the peak of the economic crisis to prove that a company not owned or operated by the federal government could succeed, and that if you had a good idea, it was still possible to grab a piece of the “American Dream.” Pork Barrel BBQ founders, Heath Hall and Brett Thompson, ran the company out of the basement of their houses, selling their award winning BBQ products one bottle at a time. In less than one year, their Pork Barrel BBQ Sauces and Spice Rub were carried in over 1,000 stores in 40 states. Throughout their journey, they have stayed true to their mission – to unite the nation through the great tradition of BBQ, and bring bipartisan flavor to your next meal. The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team entered its first contest, The Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, in June 2009, and walked away with two trophies – Second Place in the “Nations Best BBQ Sauce Contest” and Fourth Place for their pulled pork in the Memphis In May portion of the contest. Since then, the team has won dozens of awards, including the 2012 Sam’s Club National Barbecue Championship in Pleasantville, NJ, the 2011 and 2014 Perdue National Chicken Championships, the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle in 2011 and 2014, the “Chinet People’s Choice” award for best BBQ sauce in 2010 and other notable Memphis in May and Kansas City Barbecue Society BBQ competition accolades as well as having their Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ Sauce named the Supreme BBQ Sauce by Cook’s Illustrated magazine and Best Sauce in America and one of “The 125 Best Foods for Men” by Men’s Health magazine. For more information, visit www.porkbarrelbbq.com and follow Pork Barrel BBQ on Facebook and Twitter (@porkbarrelbbq).

 

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Pork Barrel BBQ on The BBQ Central Radio Show – Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 10:35 PM EST

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Heath will be on the BBQ Central Radio Show Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 10:35 PM EST to discuss Pork Barrel BBQ’s list of the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ.

A big thanks to Greg Rempe for having us on the show!!  Tune in here at 10:35 PM Tuesday!

Here is the 2013 Pork Barrel BBQ list of the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ:

1st – The Backyard BBQer, You the Backyard BBQer

2nd – Bobby Flay, Food Network, Restaurateur & Cookbook Author 

3rd – John Markus, TV Producer 

4th – Dave Anderson, Famous Dave’s & Cookbook Author

5th – Myron Mixon, Jack’s Old South & BBQ Pitmasters

6th – Carolyn Wells, KCBS

7th – Tuffy Stone, Q Barbeque, Cool Smoke & BBQ Pitmasters

8th – Competition BBQ Pitmaster

9th – Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill & Apple City BBQ

10th – Stan Hays, Operation BBQ Relief

11th – Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author & TV Host

12th – Jamie Geer, Jambo Pits

13th – Dave Raymond, Sweet Baby Ray’s

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

 

 

How Would Your List Of The 25 Most Influential People In BBQ Look Compared To The Pork Barrel BBQ List?

The 25 Most Influential People in BBQ in 2013 are:

Happy New Year! May 2014 be a smoking good year for you and your family!!!

2014

Over the past twenty-five days we’ve introduced you to our list of the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ. Now it’s your turn to let us know your list. Who did we leave off? Who did we put on the list that you think just doesn’t have the influence to crack your top 25? Who did we list too low or too high? Who do you think has what it takes to prove in 2014 that they are one of the top 25 influencers in the BBQ world in 2014? Leave a comment to this post and let us know your thoughts!

Here is the 2013 Pork Barrel BBQ list of the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ:

1st – The Backyard BBQer, You the Backyard BBQer

2nd – Bobby Flay, Food Network, Restaurateur & Cookbook Author 

3rd – John Markus, TV Producer 

4th – Dave Anderson, Famous Dave’s & Cookbook Author

5th – Myron Mixon, Jack’s Old South & BBQ Pitmasters

6th – Carolyn Wells, KCBS

7th – Tuffy Stone, Q Barbeque, Cool Smoke & BBQ Pitmasters

8th – Competition BBQ Pitmaster

9th – Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill & Apple City BBQ

10th – Stan Hays, Operation BBQ Relief

11th – Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author & TV Host

12th – Jamie Geer, Jambo Pits

13th – Dave Raymond, Sweet Baby Ray’s

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

 

The 25 Most Influential People in BBQ – Number 1: The Backyard BBQer

Today we conclude the countdown to the Most Influential Person in BBQ with the Most Influential Person in BBQ. Coming in as the Most Influential Person in BBQ is the Backyard BBQer.

backyard

In the post announcing we were going to be revealing our list of the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ we noted that there are over 317,000,000 people in America and the vast majority of them are part of the barbecue community to some degree. Some are competition BBQ pitmasters, some are restaurateurs, others are makers of commercial sauces and rubs, but all of these folks and millions more are Backyard BBQer’s. According to a 2011 study conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 86% of all U.S. households own a grill or smoker and 99% of them used them at least once in the past year. These weekend warriors of barbecue cooked billions of meals and hosted millions of backyard barbecues this year and spent billions of dollars on grills & smokers, charcoal, sauces, rubs and meats. They perused millions of recipes and product reviews in books, magazines and barbecue specific blogs like Amazing Ribs, Grill Grrrl,  Grilling with Rich, and Embers & Flame and watched hours of shows on TV dedicated to BBQ like BBQ Pitmasters and Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction

 Weber Kettle

Perhaps the only thing more common than a Weber Kettle in the backyards of America is grass. The Backyard BBQer enormous pocketbook makes them the greatest influencer of the success or failure of numerous barbecue related business. Each year new grills and smokers hit the market vying for a place in the backyards of the American BBQer – some will succeed and others will fail in large part due to the reception they receive from the Backyard BBQer. Grocery stores across the country have shelves filled with dozens of BBQ sauces, marinades and rubs that fight each and everyday to hold onto and grow their share of the market that is controlled by the Backyard BBQer. It seems appropriate that the most American of foods – barbecue – is influenced the most by not a single individual, but by the Backyard BBQer, who makes up a great percetnage of the entire American population. If you’re a part of the BBQ world and hoping to make an impact, you’d better figure out a way to get the Backyard BBQer on your side for they are the most important influencer in the world of BBQ! 

The 25 Most Influential People in BBQ in 2013 are:

1st – The Backyard BBQer, You the Backyard BBQer

2nd – Bobby Flay, Food Network, Restaurateur & Cookbook Author 

3rd – John Markus, TV Producer 

4th – Dave Anderson, Famous Dave’s & Cookbook Author

5th – Myron Mixon, Jack’s Old South & BBQ Pitmasters

6th – Carolyn Wells, KCBS

7th – Tuffy Stone, Q Barbeque, Cool Smoke & BBQ Pitmasters

8th – Competition BBQ Pitmaster

9th – Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill & Apple City BBQ

10th – Stan Hays, Operation BBQ Relief

11th – Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author & TV Host

12th – Jamie Geer, Jambo Pits

13th – Dave Raymond, Sweet Baby Ray’s

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

Now that you’ve met the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ let us know what you think. Did we get it right? Did we leave someone off that you find deserving of residing on the list? How would you rearrange the list to arrive at a list of who you believe are the 25 Most Influential People in BBQ? Head over to the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog and join the discussion!

Have a safe New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year! Here is to 2014 being an amazing year for you and your family. As we start a new year and think ahead 365 days we wonder how this list will change over the coming year as new influencers make their impact on the world of barbecue and current influencers strive to maintain their influence over the world of barbecue. Get to work, you’ve got 11 months to elevate your game and make our 2014 list of the Most Influential People in BBQ!

 

The 25 Most Influential People in BBQ – Number 2: Bobby Flay

Today we continue the countdown to the Most Influential Person in BBQ with the 2nd most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 2nd Most Influential Person in BBQ is Food Network personality, restaurateur and cookbook author, Bobby Flay

Bob

The growth in the notion of food as more than just sustenance into something more akin to hobby, art, love and entertainment can be traced back to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Justin Wilson to name a few. These early pioneers taught us that something so seemingly exotic and foreign as French or Cajun cooking is within our grasp and could be prepared in our home kitchens as simply as it can be prepared in a professional kitchen at a Michelin Star restaurant in Manhattan if you just follow a few easy steps. They made cooking fun and made it more accessible to home cooks which in turn moved food away from the simple notion of sustenance and helped to create the current foodie world we live in.

Bobby Flay is to BBQ as Child or Pepin were to French food or Wilson to Cajun food. No one in the world of barbecue is more recognizable or well known across the board, from championship pitmaster to backyard BBQ’er to mom’s and dad’s buying grocery’s for the week, as Bobby Flay. Flay is a critically-acclaimed chef and restaurateur and award-winning cookbook author, but more important to his influence is his presence as a television personality and celebrity chef. Flay’s accolades range from having his Mesa Grill restaurant named Best Restaurant by New York Magazine to being named the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year.

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Flay’s influence in BBQ began to grow in 1995 when he joined the fledgling Food Network and teamed up with Philadelphia chef Jack McDavid for the show Grillin & Chillin which cast Flay as the city slicker who only used gas and McDavid as the country boy who only used charcoal and wood. Over the course of the next 19 years Flay would mold himself into a well diversified BBQer and enter the homes of millions of food lovers and BBQer’s across American and the globe with barbecue themed shows including Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay, BBQ with Bobby Flay, Boy Meets Grill with Bobby Flay, Grill It! with Bobby Flay, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. Flay’s reach to cooks and pitmasters of varying degrees of skill is far greater than anyone else in the world of BBQ and his love and passion for live fire cooking inspires thousands of people each year to take the leap into live fire cooking. 

FlayFlay’s influence on the world of BBQ can also be felt at the bookstore where his cookbooks continue to be among the best selling barbecue themed cookbooks every written. Among his list of cookbooks are the barbecue themed Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addition from this year and Bobby Flay’s Grill It, Bobby Flay’S Boy Meets Grill, Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill, and Bobby Flay’s Grilling For Life. As long as Flay remains at the Food Network, foods biggest platform, and continues to promote his love of BBQ through television and books Flay will remain one of the major influences in food in general and BBQ more specifically.

 

On December 31st we’ll unveil the most influential person in BBQ. We’ll unveil a new member of our Most Influential Person in BBQ List each day through the end of the year and we’ll crown The Most Influential Person in BBQ on Tuesday, December 31st.

To date we’ve previously unveiled the 3rd through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

3rd – John Markus, TV Producer 

4th – Dave Anderson, Famous Dave’s & Cookbook Author

5th – Myron Mixon, Jack’s Old South & BBQ Pitmasters

6th – Carolyn Wells, KCBS

7th – Tuffy Stone, Q Barbeque, Cool Smoke & BBQ Pitmasters

8th – Competition BBQ Pitmaster

9th – Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill & Apple City BBQ

10th – Stan Hays, Operation BBQ Relief

11th – Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author & TV Host

12th – Jamie Geer, Jambo Pits

13th – Dave Raymond, Sweet Baby Ray’s

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

Will you make the list? Will someone you find deserving fall short of the top 25? Will you disagree with someone listed in the top 25? Check the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog daily now through December 31 and contribute to the discussion by adding comments to each days post!

Who is the most Influential Person in BBQ? Find out on December 31, 2013 when we reveal the Most Influential Person in BBQ.

 

The 25 Most Influential People in BBQ – Number 3: John Markus

Today we continue the countdown to the Most Influential Person in BBQ with the 3rd most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 3rd Most Influential Person in BBQ is BBQ media mogul and producer of BBQ Pitmasters, John Markus.

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Few people have had the impact on BBQ over the past few years that John Markus has had. We live in a world where television is as big of an influencer as anything else and Markus has done BBQ television better than anyone else from his original show All Star BBQ Showdown to his current hit BBQ Pitmasters. Markus might not be a household name to the millions of people who have tuned in to watch an episode of BBQ Pitmasters, but he has greatly contributed to the transformation of a number of world class pitmasters like Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone, Johnny Trigg, & Diva Q (to name a few) into household names and the current faces and ambassadors of BBQ to not just the BBQ crazed, but more importantly to the average backyard BBQer. The growing popularity of BBQ competitions has BBQ Pitmasters to thank for much of its growth. Since the premier of BBQ Pitmasters we’ve seen the number of contests grow dramatically, the attendance at many contests by onlookers has surged, larger named sponsors are now sponsoring contests and as a result of all of these factors prize money is increasing allowing more and more pitmasters to make a living from competition BBQ and the ancillary spoils that come with it like restaurants and commercial sauces and rubs. 

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Beyond his hit television shows Markus took a group of championship pitmasters to Kuwait in 2010 and fed more than 5,000 men and women of the U.S. Armed Services. While on tour with the USO Markus and a film crew filmed their adventure and released the documentary, The Kings of BBQ: Barbecue Kuwait in 2013. Markus’s years in television before he fell for BBQ has allowed him to create a product that is consumable to not just the rabid BBQ enthusiast, but the general population, which has helped to grow BBQ in America over the past few years at a greater rate than ever enjoyed. We look forward to seeing what Markus has up his sleeve next, but are certain it will influence the way BBQ moves forward. 

On December 30th we’ll unveil the 2nd most influential person in BBQ. We’ll unveil a new member of our Most Influential Person in BBQ List each day through the end of the year and we’ll crown The Most Influential Person in BBQ on Tuesday, December 31st.

To date we’ve previously unveiled the 4th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

4th – Dave Anderson, Famous Dave’s & Cookbook Author

5th – Myron Mixon, Jack’s Old South & BBQ Pitmasters

6th – Carolyn Wells, KCBS

7th – Tuffy Stone, Q Barbeque, Cool Smoke & BBQ Pitmasters

8th – Competition BBQ Pitmaster

9th – Mike Mills, 17th Street Bar & Grill & Apple City BBQ

10th – Stan Hays, Operation BBQ Relief

11th – Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author & TV Host

12th – Jamie Geer, Jambo Pits

13th – Dave Raymond, Sweet Baby Ray’s

14th – Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ

15th – Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson BBQ

16th – Sterling Ball, Big Poppa Smokers

17th – Rod Gray, Pellet Envy & Eat Barbecue

18th – Brad Orrison, The Shed

19th – Johnny Trigg, Smokin’ Triggers

20th – Danielle Dimovski, BBQ Crawl & Diva Q

21st – Bill Arnold, Blues Hog Barbecue Company

22nd – Competition BBQ Judge

23rd – Melissa Cookston, Memphis Barbecue Co. & Yazoo’s Delta Q

24th – Adam Perry Lang, Daisy May’s BBQ, Barbecoa & Cookbook Author

25th – Ronnie Cates, Smoke on the Water Productions

Will you make the list? Will someone you find deserving fall short of the top 25? Will you disagree with someone listed in the top 25? Check the Pork Barrel BBQ Blog daily now through December 31 and contribute to the discussion by adding comments to each days post!

Who is the most Influential Person in BBQ? Find out on December 31, 2013 when we reveal the Most Influential Person in BBQ.