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Today we continue the countdown of the Most Influential People in BBQ with the 18th Most Influential Person in BBQ. Coming in as the 18th Most Influential Person in BBQ is founder, pitmaster and Head Shedhed of The Shed, Brad Orrison.


If Rodney Dangerfield and Nikola Tesla were reincarnated into a single funny man/mad scientist of barbecue they would find that they weren’t the first. That honor would go to The Shed’s Brad Orrison, a guy who never seems to be having a bad day and is always looking for ways to use his genius to transform your trash into his barbecue treasure. Orrison could just as easily be listed as the definition of “The American Dream” in any reputable dictionary. 


Orrison’s journey to barbecue influence began were, most likely, no one else’s began – in the dumpsters and garbage piles surrounding Ole Miss University. Upon graduation Orrison hauled his pile of junk, or treasure, back home to Ocean Springs, MS and decided to build a barbeque joint from the contents of that pile after an epiphany. The Shed’s more than decade run and Orrison’s loyal followers known as “ShedHeds” are just two example of his influence in the world of barbecue. In 2012 when The Shed burned it rose from the ashes as if it were a Phoenix thanks to the efforts of those loyal ShedHeds and their contribution of junk to rebuild the restaurant in record time. 


The Shed competition team lead by Orrison is a fixture at Memphis in May and other major barbecue contests in the South. This year The Shed won the Memphis in May Whole Hog World Championship with their innovative “Running Hog” presentation.

In 2013 Brad and his crew of Shed Heads debuted The Shed on the Food Network. That wasn’t Orrison’s first Food Network appearance, in 2011 he joined his sister Brooke as contestants on the Food Network’s show Best in Smoke. Orrison is also a respected barbecue judge and has been invited to judge some of the most important barbecue contests including the Kingsford Invitational.

Orrison’s influence on barbecue is fueled by his big personality and wide grin. Be it through his innovative entrepreneurial spirit, successful restaurants, World Championship barbecue team, line of sauces and rubs or presence on national television, Orrison is among a limited few vying to lead the next generation of great pitmasters and barbecue entrepreneurs. His influence will be felt for many years to come as he continues to take his barbecue to new levels. 

On December 15th we’ll unveil the 17th 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 announced the 19th through 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

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.