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Today we continue the countdown to the Most Influential Person in BBQ with the 4th most influential person in BBQ. Coming in as the 4th Most Influential Person in BBQ is founder of Famous Dave’s and cookbook author, Dave Anderson.


If this were a list of the 25 Most Passionate People in BBQ there is no question that Dave Anderson would be at the top. Dave loves BBQ and spreading the BBQ message more than anyone we’ve every met, and we’ve met a lot of people who love spreading their love and passion for BBQ. Dave also loves sharing his life story, the success and struggles, to young entrepreneurs, at-risk youth, college students, chambers of commerce, and countless others willing to listen. His is a story worth listening to, as it is a true American story filled with ups and downs and lessons we can all learn from.

Dave’s influence on the restaurant industry can’t be underestimated. Today there are more than 200 Famous Dave’s across American and Canada with more than a half a billion dollars in annual sales, making it one of the largest BBQ restaurant chains in the world. An amazing fact that is likely hard for anyone else in the BBQ world to beat is the number of jobs Famous Dave has created – more than 20,000 people have jobs thanks to Dave, now that is some influence!  These days it’s hard to turn on your TV and not see Dave on one of the numerous Famous Dave’s commercials – the most recent has him with his new burnt ends with smoked cheese appetizer. Dave is one of the most visible faces in all of barbecue and is recognized by not just those who spend much of their life in barbecue circles, but by the millions of Americans who may own a grill and use it a few times a year or those not interested in smoking a brisket for hours, but looking for a place to get a good sandwich.   


Dave’s influence in BBQ touches on many more areas than just restaurants, he has an award winning line of BBQ Sauces and products that can be found in just about every grocery store from coast to coast, he’s been very successful on the BBQ competition circuit winning more than 700 awards, including winning The Best In The West Rib Cook Off numerous times, he’s a frequent participant on BBQ related TV shows like Food Network’s Best in Smoke and he is the author of the book Famous Dave’s Barbecue Party Cookbook and has been seen signing books for long lines at BBQ events throughout 2013. Dave is a true innovator, inspiration and influencer in the world of BBQ with a heart the size of a packer brisket!  

On December 29th we’ll unveil the 3rd 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 5th through the 25th Most Influential People in BBQ.

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.