Matt Fisher Profiles of BBQ Forum People


While he has been a race car driver, a fireman, and a restaurateur, Ed Maurin has become best known for the line of pellet-fueled cookers by Cookshack that bear his name. It may be too soon to say they ‘revolutionized’ the bbq world as we know it, but they certainly have been linked to their fair share of Grand Champions in the last few years.

Fast Eddy in the trailer

Name? Ed Maurin a.k.a. “Fast Eddy”. 

Where From and/or where do you currently live? Kansas City, Missouri. 

Married, kids, etc…? I’ve been married for 27 years and have one boy who’s 23. 
  

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, 
etc please mention)?
Fire Fighter, BBQ Pit mfg. 
  

# of pits and what are they? FEC500 and FEC100. 
  

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and 
what styles?
I pretty much have always made my own pits. I did buy a couple of Traeger units that got me interested in changing the type of cooker I build. 
  

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family 
involved?
1986, went cooking with a fellow by the name of Niel Van Hoosier. 
  

Favorite thing about bbqing? The way you can change peoples lives by showing them this culture we call BBQ. 
 

How you found the forum and when (if you can 
remember)?
I believe it was 1996 when I first just looked at it. 
 

What was your first pit? A 300 Gallon fuel tank with an offset fire box. 
  

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be 
bbq)
Grilled Chicken.
 

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc? Hickory Pellets. 
 

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who 
with, team name, etc….)?
Lakeland Pig Festival, many years. 

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when 
why?
I like to try new places all the time, Everywhere I go. 
 

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, 
etc…whatever you want to include.
AC/DC any album.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you 
eat most often when not eating bbq)?
Fried chicken and any kind of fish cooked any way. 
 

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food? Not a beer drinker unless I’m drinking fresh beer in Europe. 

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” 
if you want)?
Is it the cook or the cooker? 
  

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)? Pellet cookers should be illegal. 
 

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why? http://www.fasteddysbbq.com/  It was 1998 to showcase my pits.

Note: Photo of Fast Eddy from http://www.mojavehotstuff.com 

 

He may be familiar to you from posts under his team’s name– The Pork Jesters (TPJ), or because of his quick wit, straightforward style or his willingness to share recipes, tips and ideas. He started posting on the Forum about 7 years ago and the thing that has struck me most about Odis has been his openness through the inevitable tragedies of life, his love of family, and his ability to pull himself back off the pavement and stay passionate about life, love and cooking. He even reached out to me about my mother’s battle with Cancer while trying to make sense of the loss of his wife. It meant alot to me, and tells me the kind of guy he is. Thanks, Odis.

Odis with his favorite pit

Name?
Odis Wilkinson – The Pork Jesters on The Forum and I’m sure a lot of other names are circulating for me.


Where from and/or where do you currently live?
If you really want to know “where from” my family has been traced back to Belfast Ireland then to the Jamestown Colony in 1760. I am originally from Yazoo City, Mississippi and am now living in Vicksburg, Mississippi. I just can’t leave the Mississippi Delta so I reckon Willie Morris was right when he said, as I was mixing his scotch and waters one night, “The Mississippi Delta always calls its people home, that’s the Delta voodoo.” Maybe there is a team name here, Delta Voodoo Smokers. Yep that’s the next name for a team.

Married, kids, etc…?
Recent widower so I reckon I’m single. I have two boys, 7 and 4. Both like bbq and grilled foods. They say it just tastes better and I have to agree.

Profession
Sales Manager for a precious metals material sciences company with headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My territory is the Eastern US seaboard, Mexico, and Brazil.

# of pits and what are they?
Stumps GF223 and a Cajun Grill w/ smoker box.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
No, but I have helped fabricate a couple of behemoths. I have a design for an insulated “offset” that I hope to build this summer. I really like cooking on an offset style cooker but have never had room to park one so verticals have been my choice from necessity. I have just bought a house with a large yard so I can start putting out southern yard art. Isn’t a large, trailered bbq pit southern yard art?

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?
My earliest memory of bbq starts in the 70s with political cookouts around Yazoo City. You show up, get fed, and listen to what the candidate(s) have to say. I will be hosting a couple of these this summer during my brother in-law’s campaign for circuit judge.
I really became exposed to real bbq in the early 80s with pig pickins in the Mississippi Delta around Cleveland, Rosedale, and Merigold. In the Delta, the summers are blistering hot and cooled down by an occasional breeze of mostly warm air. At the pickins, pretty women in thin sun dresses would flirt from under huge shade trees with high cotton in the background. Cold beer and whole hog was available to all . . . . . now that has to be what a corner of heaven would look like. Then again it might just be the devil’s temptation, remember Willie Morris.

Favorite thing about bbqing?
The solitude and smell of rendering pork fat at 2:30 AM is the first thing I think of, but my most favorite thing about bbq is the event. Family and friends get together and we devour ribs, pulled pork, chicken with all the fixins and beer. We don’t have to be hungry to eat, we just need an occasion to celebrate. Those occasions are easily produced.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?
I found the Forum in early 1999. In 1997 and 1998 I was editor of a traditional bowhunting magazine and active member of The Leatherwall which was a message board for archers who shot longbows and recurves. The Leatherwall was a tremendous help in learning the art of shooting traditional archery equipment and as I started getting more serious about bbq I went looking for a similar board focusing on bbq. I did a search looking for “bbq message boards” and Whack!!! there was THE forum. I swear I thought I had hit the mother load. Posters like Jim Minion, Shake, Shingleman & Elizabeth Lumpkin helped me get ok good in a very short time. Even with the Forum shortening my learning curve dramatically, it still took over four years before I turned out a butt that I knew was done right.

What was your first pit?
A rusty, but free, 55 gallon barrel/drum that cooked a lot of chicken and ribs in college. This was the early 80s so ribs were still cheap. We thought the ribs were delicious but now I know just how pitiful they were. I tried cooking the butts and picnics but just could not produce a quality product. It would be another 16 years before I could produce decent pulled pork.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?
Hot dogs, hamburgers, and biscuits.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc?
Favorite woods – hickory, peach, pecan and kiln dried hickory axe handles
Charcoal – Nature Glo briquettes and Nature Glo lump

Rub – mine

Sauce – mine

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name, etc….)?
Since The Pork Jesters have only cooked two contests I don’t necessarily have a favorite or best competition memory . . . yet. I can tell you this . . . there is no better bunch of folks to hangout with for a weekend than bbq folks.


Do you eat bbq in restaurants — if so, where, when why?
When I travel, I will eat in bbq restaurants recommended by Forum people. I don’t hesitate to stop at Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur or Whole Hog Cafe in Little Rock and yes I like Corkys in Memphis.

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc…whatever you want to include.

Music– Tommy Bolin, Roy Buchanan, Hendrix, Bocephus, ZZ Top, Widespread Panic, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Albert King, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters.

Books – The Fountain Head, Atlas Shrugged, Skinny Legs and All, Jitterbug Perfume, Aubrey-Maturin series, Return to Soddom and Gomorrah, J.R.R., and books on history nonfiction.

TV – don’t watch network TV, I prefer to read. Do listen to NPR and Fox News.

Movie – don’t really have a favorite.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often when not eating bbq)?
What some people might call country vittles like fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, cat head biscuits with a cold slice of tomato in the middle. And then there are Cajun and Creole dishes. I’m not that great yet but I can make passable dishes. I may be southern but don’t give me any #!@$%$#@$%% boiled okra.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?
I will drink Budweiser from the can, Abita, Chamay, and New Castle Brown Ale. Ok ok I will drink any beer that is in the cooler even if a couple of fish have been keeping them company. After dark though I prefer Pinch scotch, Tito’s vodka, or Jack Daniels all on the rocks.

Favorite BBQ Forum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)?
Don’t necessarily have one.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)?
Don’t necessarily have one but there have been a few that I blinked a couple of times before I opened them up.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
No but I would suggest visiting Forum advertisers web pages and purchasing products from them.

Forum readers may have come across Adam Perry Lang’s name when he won the Pork BarbQlossal, or when he was up against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. But in New York City, the names Daisy May’s BBQ USA and Adam Perry Lang have been hard to miss with their popular bbq and chili carts sprinkled throughout  the streets of Manhattan (pioneering an overhaul of street food options in the city).
Starting in highbrow French kitchens to hone his skills, Adam has smoothly transitioned to making bbq that consistently garners rave reviews and hints at the depth of his experience. Daisy May’s started out as take-out only, but has recently added seating. One of Adam’s other jobs is serving steaks at Robert’s Steakhouse (inside the Penthouse Executive Club, an ‘adult’ venue). Tough life, I’m sure.

Adam and Max 

Name? Adam Perry Lang

Where From and/or where do you currently live?I was born in Brooklyn, New York but I was raised on the North Shore of Long Island.  I currently live on the West Side of Manhattan five blocks from my restaurant Daisy May’s BBQ

Married, kids, etc…? Married eight years to my wife Fleur, whom I meet while working in Paris France.  We have a two and a half year old boy named Max

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc please mention)?
I am chef/owner of Daisy May’s BBQ as well as the executive chef of Robert’s Steakhouse.

# of pits and what are they? I have a Horizon 30”, Two Green Eggs, Two Viking C4, La Caja China, and soon to arrive, Caldera.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
I have mad a bbq out of a Igloo cooler with the combination of a hot plate, lava rocks and a cast iron skillet

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved? My earliest memory of BBQing was quite recent, it happened on a New Mexican Ranch with a group of displaced Texas Ranch-hands.

Favorite thing about bbqing? Getting to meet other people from around the country in a communal setting, being outdoors, managing the unpredictable factors, while trying to prevail to the best of my ability.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)? Ray Lampe told me about it, and I tuned in after I competed in Barbeqlossal.  I tune in now several times a day – but contribute every so often.

What was your first pit? A used Horizon 30”.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)? Candies made with peanut butter when I was 4 years old.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc? For woods-fairly green young applewood – 2” diameter; Charcoal – Kingsford; Sauces – Head Country

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name, etc….)? Barbeqlossal under Team Daisy May BBQ when I competed alone with the help of a whole lot of other teams.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why? Yes  – everywhere and as often as I can.
 

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc…whatever you want to include. Favorite album Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run; Favorite Book: Earnest Hemingway – A Movable Feast; Favorite Movie – The Old Man and the Sea; Favorite TV Show – Guy Harvey Sportsfishing Journal

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often when not eating bbq)? Grilled Hot Dogs with Mustard and Saurkraut

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food? Any kind will do.

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)?
I don’t have any favorites, just like the exchange on what’s doing while learning from others and I like to help when I can

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)? Any thread when people get personal.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why? http://www.daisymaysbbq.com/ .  I started so I could direct customers to read a little more about us and our menus.

It seems impossible to be a regular reader of the bbqforum and to not have encountered one of the incredible creations shared by Chez (or John Eddy as he’s also sometimes known). His dishes are often ingenious variations on classic American food that is, uhm, ‘kicked up,’ and given a whole other life. Other times they are truly unique inventions that spark the imagination. Always generous with recipes, advice and the Friday jukebox, Chez is one of the bbqforum regulars that gives so much to the community. Bon Appetit!

Chez at ease
Name?
John W. Eddy aka Chez
 

Where from and/or where do you currently live? Born & raised on a dairy farm in NE Kansas ~ Pottawattomie County.  Traveled all over the country, when I was a working chef, mostly Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas & Missouri … lived in Kansas City for about 8 years prior to moving to Topeka when I retired in 2001.

Married, kids, etc…? Nope.  Always worked too much to have a personal life.  Got a lil’ niece & nephew that I adore, though.  Caitie is 18, and Alex is 16.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc please mention)? 40+ years in the restaurant business, grew up in a restaurant family … have owned several of my own restaurants (including a bbq restaurant). Opened my first restaurant when I was 18 yrs old.  Got my ACF certification (C.E.C.) when I was about 25 yrs old, and have worked as Executive Chef in many kinds of restaurants over the years, from big high-volume hotels & convention centers, to Country Clubs, to steak houses, to Mediterranean bistros & about everything in between.  Hung up my toque to become a full time day-trader (NASDAQ) in 1998 … and retired in 2001 when the markets crashed.  Still do a lil’ day-trading … and some private chef work, just to keep a lil’ spendin’ money in my pocket.

# of pits and what are they? Currently have 2 WSMs, a vintage red Weber Kettle and a MECO Swinger II
  
 

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles? Yeah, my friends & I built a big smoker out of a discarded fuel tank we found in a pasture.  It was a monster, and frankly didn’t work worth a damn, but we had fun with it. 
 

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved? Well, my earliest memories are of my Dad bbqing … but he wasn’t very good at it.  It wasn’t till I was about 20 years old, and traveled to east Tennessee to visit some friends, that I discovered what real bbq was.  Been doing it *low & slow* ever since. 

Favorite thing about bbqing? I think I enjoy the social aspect of bbq the most … seems there are always friends around, usually some live music is being played, horseshoes being pitched, lies being told, etc.  On the other hand, I also enjoy the solitary cooks … seems the whole world slows down a bit … time for reflecting.  Not too many things I DON’T enjoy about bbqing.  Chowing down on the fruits of your labor ain’t bad, either.
 
 

 How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)? Just found it by dumb luck … I was doing some research about different types of bbq in different regions of the country, and stumbled onto the BBQ Forum.  That was about 5 years ago … 2000/01?  I’ve learned a great deal from folks there … my bbq is definitely better because of it.

What was your first pit? First grill was a MECO … it’s still my favorite *grill*.  First smoker was an ECB.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)? I think scrambled eggs ~ I was about 4-5 years old.  My Mom had a couple of lil’ country cafe’s when I was growing up, so I started cooking in them at an early age, like mebbe 9-10 yrs old.  By the time I was a teenager, I was a seasoned short-order cook.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc? I like to use hickory & pecan wood … and also apple & peach wood.  I rarely use lump, using mostly Kingsford & sometimes Royal Oak briquettes in my WSMs & grills.  I use all kinds of rubs, mostly ones made by BBQ Forum folks … I make my own brisket rub, which is heavy on the pepper.  I also like to try different sauces, but a couple that I am NEVER without are Arthur Bryant’s Original (for brisket) and Dumplin’ Valley (for pulled pork).

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name, etc….)? I’m not into the comp scene, so don’t have any favorite memories of comps.  I did the comp thing for a couple years, back in the late 80’s … and decided it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why? I tend to avoid bbq restaurants … but when I lived in Kansas City, there were a couple of joints that I frequented on a regular basis. 

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc… Whatever you want to
include. Don’t even git me started on music!!  LOL  I’m an old throwback from the 60’s … I listen to music from the time I get up in the morning, until I go to bed at night.  All day.  Every day.  Favorite music:  traditional bluegrass, acoustic blues, anything rootsy & americana.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often when
not eating bbq)? Cajun/Creole

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/food? Got *clean & sober* in 1991 … got to the point where I was having just a lil’ bit too much fun!!  LOL. After about 10 years of sobriety, I decided to allow myself to have NA beer.  My favorites are Buckler & Haake Beck … but my *everyday* swill is Old Milwaukee NA.  I drink a lot of good, black coffee … and fresh-brewed *sweet* tea.

Favorite BBQ Forum thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)? I tend to like the slightly off-topic threads … music threads, cooking threads, etc.

Least favorite BBQ Forum thread (ditto)? I’m gonna plead the 5th on this one.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why? No web site currently.  I’ve had several, mainly when I was in the pizza business…used them in my guerrilla marketing campaigns.  I was the first franchisee in the company to develop a web page, and when I sold my pizza shops … since I owned the domain name … I was also able to sell the web sites & domain name to corporate, for a huge profit. 

Where you learned to cook/how you got into the biz? My Mom was a helluva cook, and so was my paternal Grandma.  I learned the basics from them, and beyond that … I’m pretty much self-taught. 

Restaurants you’ve worked in? Too many to list.  Here’s a sample:
 
Small town cafes in Kansas
Steak & Prime Chop Houses in Texas
Cajun restaurants in Louisiana
Big casinos & hotels in Mississippi
Country clubs in Missouri
Mediterranean bistros in Kansas City
Pizzerias, chicken & catfish shacks, bbq joints, delis, sports bars, etc, etc.

Restaurant memory/disaster? Many memories, not very many disasters.  Most challenging gig was a contract catering job where we fed about 5,000 people at a big convention center … prime rib dinner the first night, breakfast the next morning & a sack lunch the same day.  15,000 plates in about a 16 hour time frame–off premise.  It was a logistical nightmare, but we pulled it off.

Recipe making history– do you ‘taste them in your mind’ or is it trial and error?  Yeah, I can pretty much envision & taste dishes in my mind, before actually creating them … as long as I’m using ingredients & spices & techniques that I’m familiar with. 
 

Many regular forum visitors have probably seen Steve’s handle YankeeBBQ somewhere along the way, and if you’ve read Steve Farrin’s posts, you’ve probably noticed that he’s one of the more quick-witted characters around. You’ve also probably seen him always willing to help out with advice, information and support wherever possible. A nomadic cooker, Steve’s cooked all over the place with both of his teams, I Smell Smoke and Team Agave, often showing up with no pit and few ingredients, and still manages to succeed. He is extremely active as a board member of the New England Barbecue Society, updating their website and helping to promote the sport of bbq in the northeast. Below is a brief overview of the teams.

I Smell Smoke: Steve Farrin, Doug Pini, Dale Farrin, Charlie Pini, Pat Brogden, Carmen Pini,  Carlotta Pini
 
2005 Results: Mass State Champion; Connecticut State Champion; Grand Champ of Snow Shoe Grilling Challenge; Reserve Grand at Cape Cod BBQ Challenge; Reserve Grand at Highland NY ribfest; First Place ribs at Jack Daniels; 9th chicken and 11th Brisket at American Royal Invitational; 1st Pork overall NEBS

Team Agave (Past and Present Members): Steve Farrin, Dave Peterson, Nancy Peterson, Dave Frary, Mike Grudzinskas, Dale Farrin, Kirsten Grudzinskas, Garry Howard, Rich Decker
Team Agave Highlights : 2004 Maryland State Champion; Grand Champ BBQ on the River Bristol PA; Grand Champ New Holland PA Summerfest; 1st Place Pork Guitarbeque;  1st Place Pork Maine State Championship; 7th Pork Overall KCBS

 Steve on Elephant

 Name? Steve Farrin

Where From and/or where do you currently live? 35 year resident of Malden Massachusetts, just about 5 miles outside of Boston.

Married, kids, etc…? Single

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc please mention)? Maintenance Mechanic.  I specialize in Digital Building Control systems and electronic repair of Scientific research equipment.  I help a friend with some catering a couple of times a year and we also Vend at a couple of BBQ comps.

# of pits and what are they? Hmmm let’s see.  Backwoods Competitor, FE100, WSM,  ECB , Brinkman offset, a couple of kettles (the red one is not for sale), Weber gas grill and a big trailer mounted grill.  It looks like 9 is the number.  No wait,  I have a small gas grill sitting under my desk at work and little smokey joe in the garage.  11

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles? I’ve never made my own but my bbq teammate Charlie has made a couple that we’ve cooked on over the years.  One from a 250 gallon oil drum that I helped install a gasket on and a slightly modified brinkman offset.  We had a fire box mounted underneath the brinkman instead of on the side.

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved? Not exactly bbq but cooking with wood.  My family had a big Labor Day party every year and we’d do a big Lobster bake over an open fire.  In the early days I was just a spectator with the rest of the young brats and then as the years moved along we were allowed to participate until finally we were running the show.  And man what show !

Favorite thing about bbqing? For me, bbq is about the competition and the camaraderie.  It’s really fun competing when your enemies are your friends.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)? My team qualified for the 1998 American Royal and we had a million questions on what to expect.  I found the Forum doing a Lycos search for Kansas City BBQ.  Does anyone remember when Lycos was the big search engine ?

What was your first pit? A Brinkman bullet smoker aka ECB (el cheapo brinkman)

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)? Can’t really recall.  I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember.  I do remember helping my Mom prepare her Spaghetti Sauce (we call it sauce in my family, none of that Gravy stuff) when I was very young.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc?

Wood- Pecan
Charcoal- Wicked Good (my sponsor), Pellets- BBQ’rs Delight Pecan Pellets (my sponsor),
Rub: I make some of my own but I like Smokin Guns, Head Country and Slabs and I buy them at Hawgeyesbbq.com For Sauce: Blues Hog, Head Country and Texas Rib Rangers

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name, etc….)? I have many great memories of bbq comps but there are few I would like to mention. 
 My Team I Smell Smoke qualified for our first Royal in 1998 by winning the Pig n Pepper festival in Massachusetts.  Before the comp we were watching kids take rides on this big Elephant.  I’m not sure which one of us brought it up but we all agreed if we won the competition we would ride that Elephant.  We had a blast.

The second I’d like to mention is that first Royal we went to.  We placed third in Chicken and I still can’t forget the feeling I had walking up to receive our Ribbon.  I know what people mean when they say it feels like being on cloud 9.  I swear I floated to the stage that day.

And finally I want to talk about a competition that I competed in last year with my Father.  It was in New Holland Pennsylvania.  We won the contest but that’s not what makes it special.  Just being able to spend quality time with my Dad was a blast.  He really had a great time and it’s nice to know that you can make your parents proud.  We plan on being there again this year.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when  why? Once in awhile I do.  The New England BBQ society has what we call Road Trips where a bunch of us get together and go out to a local bbq joint.  It’s a great time for cooks, judges and non competing members of the Society to socialize.  And sometimes the food is real good.

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc…whatever you want to include.
Dave Mathews Band, John Prine, Dances With Wolves, South Park, Reality TV

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often when not eating bbq)? I’m a steakaholic.  Give me a ribeye and I’m a happy camper.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food? I’m not a big beer drinker.  Tequila on the other hand…

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)? I like all the rules and judging threads.  They can get heated and sometimes drag on too long but it shows how much passion people have for competition bbq.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)? I’ll bite my tongue on this one and plead the 5th

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why? http://www.ismellsmoke.com  I haven’t updated it in quite awhile but It’s on my list of things to do.  I also help to maintain the New England BBQ society web site at http://www.nebs.org
 

You might be familiar with Mike Davis and the Lotta Bull BBQ team from seeing them on television on the All-Star BBQ Showdown on which they made it to the finals taped last summer in New York City and shown on the Outdoor Life Network.

Or maybe you’ve competed against them on the circuit where they’ve become a team to beat and racked up some impressive wins, including winning the American Royal Open in 2002. In 2005 they came back to the Royal to take both Reserve Grand in the Invitational AND Grand Champion of the Open. This capped off a red-hot 2005, in which Lotta Bull was also Reserve Grand Champions at the 1st Annual Great American BBQ Contest.

With credentials like that, it’s no wonder they are marketing a sauce and rub line, which sound like winners, too, and can be found at their website. So, without further ado….Lotta Bull BBQ

Name?
Mike & Debbie Davis, We are the team – LOTTA BULL BBQ

Where From and/or where do you currently live?
Currently reside in Marietta, Oklahoma (6 miles past the jumping off point)

Married, kids, etc…?
Married to Debbie for 29 years now, we have 1beautiful daughter Mikee (pronounced Mickey) married to Breck Miller, they have given us 2 wonderful grandsons, Jackson now3 and Cade born this year. Our 2 girls at home and our traveling companions are Aggie & Gabby our miniature Schnauzers.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend,etc please mention)?
For my day job, I am a Regional Maintenance Manager for Transport Industries, the largest grocery hauler in these great United States, with responsibilities in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Arizona and Oregon. On occasion we cater for certain groups.

# of pits and what are they?
2 actual bbq pits, one is my Geer pit that I compete on and the other is made by Kingfisher Kookers.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
My brother in law and I built my first pit that I used for years and then sold it to a cooker in Houston, Tx and he still uses it today. I often think of buying it back just to remind where it all started.

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?
Earliest memory? Thinking I could make better stuff than I was buying at the bbq joints, and I did.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?
I was one of the first ones on the forum, how I got there, I have no clue now.

What was your first pit?
1st pit was homemade.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?
I have cooked all my life, my first bbq’ing was ribs and brisket, no joke, the first try was edible.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc?
woods –pecan
charcoal – lump
rub – dry
sauce – nice try!!

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name, etc….)?
Easy. Minuteman Cook-off in North Little Rock, Arkansas – 1st KCBS Grand Championship.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why?
Debbie can’t believe I do this, but, I got to try them out from time to time, just to see what is out there. I can’t believe what some folks call good.

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc…whatever you want to include.
Book – Bible
Movies – Tom Horn, Aloha Bobby and Rose (from the 70’s)
Music – Old time Gospel, Country (old and new), Classic Rock (Aerosmith, Grand Funk, Skynyrd……)

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often when not eating bbq)?
Mexican

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?
Not much of a beer drinker

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
We do have a new website www.lottabullbbq.com and we are still working on a few things but it is up and running, but if you go there, please be patient with us, we are still learning.

Many of you who read the forum may recognize Rub’s name because he maintains a great website with photos of so many teams’ banners, but this week’s profile gives a little more info on Rob Bagby, who also works with students and kicks some butt on the circuit down in Florida and elsewhere.

Name?
Rob “Rub” Bagby

Where From and/or where do you currently live?
Born and raised in central Florida, currently live in Winter Haven for the past 27 years except for 4 years at UF.

Married, kids, etc…?
I’ve been happily married for 9 years, and have a 15 year old (step) daughter who I’ve been with since she was 2, and a 6 year old daughter.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc please
mention)?
I am in my 17th year as a special education teacher, working with 6th – 12th grade mentally, emotionally, and physically handicapped kids. I also cater on occasion, and vend most every chance I get at contests and local festivals. I do the vending in order to be able to pay for the competitions. My barbecue hobby has to be self-sustaining. If I don’t make the money vending, I don’t compete.

# of pits and what are they?
I have a WSM, which was my first pit, a reverse flow 24×50 stick burner, and a Stump’s Smoker CB 234. All three get a lot of use.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
I have made 2 reverse flow stick burners. The first was a 10’x39″ giant that we built at my school to use for bbq fundraisers. I raised the money to build it by taking orders for pulled pork and smoked chickens from the staff once a week. I’d cook it up on my WSM, and all of the money earned would go towards materials for the pit. I liked that big one so much that I built a second, smaller one to use myself for competing. There are pictures of each in the Image Gallery.

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?
I didn’t start barbecuing until I was 17. We would get a bunch of pork butts, season them up with salt, pepper, and whatever else was in the cabinet, wrap them in foil, and cook them over a bed of oak coals in a brick pit. Thinking back, I guess they didn’t get much smoke, but they did cook slowly. We’d also roast a box of corn, tap a keg, and invite over a bunch of friends. These became known as “Rob’s Backyard BBQs”, and we’d do about 2 a year.

Favorite thing about bbqing?
There’s a lot I like about barbecuing. I love being outside. I love the smell of the smoke, especially after about 5 hours when the juices start to sizzle. I love the camaraderie, friendships and atmosphere that you get at cookoffs. I part I love the best is the feedback I get. Having someone come back and compliment my food or getting my name called at a contest is a great feeling.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?
A friend of mine from a cigar bulletin board told me about this forum, and I started checking it out in December of ’02. Back then I would not post often, and when I did it was under the name “UFreak”.

What was your first pit?
My first pit as an adult was a WSM.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?
My mom taught me a lot about cooking growing up, but the first thing I remember cooking on my own was little freshwater clams. We’d go down to the lake, dig up a bucketful, boil them to open, scoop out the meat and pan fry in some butter. We thought we were living like kings.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc?
I like to use pecan and oak for my wood, and I use Kingsford mostly because it’s easy to get and it’s cheap. As far as rubs and sauces go, when I’m cooking for the public I mostly use Byron’s Butt Rub and KC Masterpiece sauce.

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name,
etc….)?
That would have to be the first time I competed on my own. I had been a part of The Dixie Boys BBQ Team for about a year helping out where I could, and picking their collective barbecue brains. I had gathered a bunch of great information and was anxious to see what I could do on my own. The Lakeland Pig Fest had a Backyard category, so I decided to give it a try on my own as the “Swamp Boys”. I cooked on my homemade stick burner and ended up getting a 1st, two 5ths, and a 12th, which was good enough to win GC out of 42 teams. It was my first and last time I would enter the backyard division. I’m still working on winning my first GC as a “pro”.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why?
No.

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc…whatever you
want to include.
Music – southern rock, some bluegrass, some Zydeco.
Books – I liked all of the books by John D. MacDonald, and more recently I enjoyed reading Angels and Demons, and The DaVinci Code.
I’m not much in to movies. About the only thing I watch on TV is college and pro football.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often
when not eating bbq)?
Everything seafood, especially raw oysters, clams, crabs, and lobster. It’s hard to beat a good homemade fresh grouper sandwich too.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?
Budweiser Select

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)?
I used to get a real kick out of the replies written by Stumpbaby, who “comes from a long line of circus folk”. Don’t see much from him any more.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)?
No specific one, but for a while there were a ton of judging threads that seemed to over-analyze and argue the obvious to death. Those became tiring.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
Yes, www.SwampBoys.com is my website. I started it probably around January of ’04 as a way to try to drum up some business, and also to chronicle the contests I’ve entered. I also collect bbq team banner pictures from people who post on the various bbq bulletin boards, and I’ve devoted some space to displaying them with their team’s information. I get a kick out of some of the names and artwork that they use.

On the forum, most folks probably just know him as ‘mike.’ But if you don’t know him, he runs HawgeyesBBQ.com and TNT Landscaping out of Ankeny, IA. He’s someone who has done alot to foster the bbq community– in particular by carrying and promoting so many projects made by BBQForum.com members– so it made sense to me to start here.

The questions were emailed to Mike and his responses are unedited. I hope to do more of these soon and to revise the questions to try and keep things fresh. As always, send me your suggestions.

Thanks, Mike and thank you readers!

Name?
Mike Tucker

Where From and/or where do you currently live?
Originally Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri, and then Iowa.

Married, kids, etc…?
Married 20 years, two Kids, a big black dog, and an iguana. I see a cat from time to time also.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc. please mention)?
President/ founder TNT Landscaping. Operate a 5 acre retail nursery/garden center, along with Hawgeyes BBQ carryout food, and HawgeyesBBQ.com internet sales. Full design & install service. Also have a complete outdoor cooking center featuring all items on our website.

# of pits and what are they?
I retail Horizon, WSM, Big Green Egg. I own a Oklahoma Joe (2), a Big Green Egg, a Ducane Gas Grill, several Webers, and a big Horizon Trailer Mounted Smoker.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
No, i bought a piece of junk fuel tank cooker, and had a fire box added. Sold it soon after. I decided to leave it up to the professionals.

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?
My Dad was big into grilling. We had a nice home in Missouri, with a deck overlooking a lake. The perfect background.

Favorite thing about bbqing?
It’s outside, and a chance to be creative.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?
I was told about it by local cooks around 6 years ago.

What was your first pit?
An Oklahoma Joe Tailgator.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?
I honestly don’t remember. The most memorable was the frozen pizza that cooked all night (in college). I fell asleep after “studying” too hard. Not a good experience.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc.?
Cherry, pecan, lump charcoal. Rubs and sauces are what we sell, so I don’t name favorites.

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name,
etc….)?
1999 World Pork Expos’ “Barbeqlossal”. We were the Iowa Hawgeyes, and won grand champ. Ed Roith and his wife took reserve. She was in a wheel chair. He supported us, and he supported her. I will never forget that day.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why?
No. I get enough of my own. Having a carryout shack kind of burns you out.

Favorite record albums, books, tv shows, movie, etc…whatever you want
to include.
I don’t listen to music much anymore. Still like rock when I do. I never really liked to read or follow directions, and I like action movies. Oh yeah, I like the show “Cops”, and Two and a Half Men.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often
when not eating bbq)?
Pizza, burgers, a good steak.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?
Budweiser/Budweiser/Budweiser

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)?
There have been a bunch. I guess the genuine ones. Some of them never get a response and should. Sometimes it takes someone to say “hey look at this”. Qsis did that with a post about kids. It had to do with a project with Juggy and his father Father. That was one of my favorites.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)?
I saw a couple that hit below the belt. Any post that deteriorates into a personal attack or the threat of “repercussions” has gone to far in my opinion.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
Yes. We have Hawgeyesbbq.com. It was a natural tie-in with our outdoor cooking supply sales.

Welcome to the Profiles of BBQ Forum People section of bbqblog.com. On the forum, my handle is Matt in NYC. My goal in writing these profiles is to share with readers the stories of the people that post and lurk on the forum. You don’t have to cook 12 contests a year (or any, for that matter) to be profiled here, but interesting stories that connect with your experience barbecuing are encouraged. At the same time some personal history and experiences will be included as well. Some of this has been covered in posts about “who are you and what do you do?” and “what got you started?” on the BBQ Forum, but this is an opportunity to put this in one central place, expand on the information and add more of peoples’ personalities to the picture. I hope you will contact me at my bbqblog email address (matt@bbqblog.com) and send suggestions about who you would like to see profiled in the weeks ahead.

A little personal history about me– I was born and raised in a suburb of New York City and lived in the Binghamton area of Central/Western New York State for about 6 years. My wife and I currently reside in Queens, but hope to leave NYC soon. I have spent the last few years marketing for an architectural/engineering company and traveling the country (eating as much barbeque as possible) to do so. I recently left that job to begin work in the pharmaceutical industry. I’ve written about food for the NY Press as well as on my blog, The Hampton Smoker, but I wouldn’t call myself a professional writer. About 6.5 years ago, a neighbor moved in with a Weber Kettle that he wound up giving me, a few years after I spent a week in Kansas City eating nothing but ‘que, then I picked up an ECB and now I’m waiting for my BYC to ship. The rest is lots and lots of ash and history.

As I said above, please be in touch with ideas for future profiles. The information can be about people who participate in charitable efforts like Operation BBQ or donate time cooking for homeless shelters, or those involved in catering, feeding touring musicians or vending out of a truck. I’m personally especially interested in how the art of cooking is handed down in families or how you are trying to pass the love on to youngsters and how traditions are kept alive or modified. None of that excludes the people that cook for a living, compete, only cook every so often or are just getting started– if you are a member of the forum, you might wind up being profiled. Cheers!

We have a new reporter for The BBQ Blog Matt Fisher. Matt, will be reporting for the section “Profiles of BBQ Forum People.” This is a extension of the old BBQ Forum People listing called “Who, What, and Where. “ Matt will post these files when ever he has new information. He will be getting a lot of the information from people like you who send him emails of suggested people to profile. There will be a special page with email address of all the reporters soon.

Ray Basso

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