This is a little about me and how I got into cooking southern style BBQ.
At the age of 10, I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Looking back, I now wish I had taken better care of myself because at the age of 33, I went into kidney failure and began daily dialysis. Soon after I began dialysis, I had to close down my carpentry business of 12 years due to illness and weakness. Dialysis was a dark time in my life, but many things have changed since then. On December 30, 1998, I was called to the University of Wisconsin's Transplant Center for a kidney and pancreas transplant. What a Happy New Year that was!!!!
Two months after the transplant, I developed a gangrene infection in my right foot. After a good fight, I ended up losing my leg just below the knee in October, 1999. However, I was up on a prosthetic leg by Christmas that year. Three months after I was walking again, I developed a break down of the bone in the left ankle and the ankle just would not heal. I lost that leg (again just below the knee) in January of 2001. I spent the better part of 3 years off my feet and in a wheel chair. With the lack of activity and use of a steroid for the transplant, I also gained weight that I never had before.
As I learned more about my new lifestyle, I found that I wanted to work with others who had experienced similar issues. I like to work with people who need a way to help raise funds. This is mainly why I wanted to take my BBQ cooking and do some fundraisers. I feel that I had this transplant for a reason, and that I have to do some good with my second chance at life. Helping others and educating them may be the reason for that chance, or just setting an example and being an inspiration to someone may also be the reason. I have never felt like "poor me" or "why me?" I have nobody to blame but myself for not taking better care of myself earlier on. I have chosen to make the best of a bad situation. Actually, with what i have experienced health wise, I have a much more clear appreciation for the smaller things in life.
During the times when I was recouping, I had a lot of free time and I found much of my time was spent in bed watching cooking shows. I really enjoyed cooking but not as much as I do now, and I have learned a lot more about various foods and seasonings. I developed a strong passion for cooking during that time. I began to cook with more fresh products and not canned or pre-packaged foods! It almost amazes me now, how I used to enjoy eating so many canned and pre-packaged foods. During the time, after transplant, when I was laid up and off my "feet", I found myself watching a cooking show that was about BBQ. I went to a website that had this guy's BBQ smokers on it, and he also had a BBQ forum that the guys can ask questions on. I contacted someone on the forum and ended up going to my first BBQ cook-off in Grand Rapids, Michigan. What a great learning experience it was! I was hooked right away. About a week later, I went and bought my first smoker.
In 2004, I began competing in various BBQ contests and have attended and apprenticed in several more with friends and mentors. I travel to various parts of the country to do these contests. Some of those states include Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. I am a member of the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) and also a Certified BBQ Judge with the KCBS. Since I started cooking BBQ, I have gone from a backyard BBQ cook, to a competition cook, and finally, a BBQ caterer. I have won awards
in all of the contests I have entered so far! Luck may not always be with me, but I will continue to compete and have fun as time allows, and I will keep seeking further education about cooking great, quality BBQ.
I primarily do private catering
with both drop-off service and on-site cooking. I owe much of my success to many fine people that have helped by not only their belief in me, but also their generous sponsorship
with competition cooking and their support in helping me in establishing my business. With the help of these great businesses behind me, I am able to help others and establish a new career for myself along with continuing competition cooking. I am always looking to keep my business growing which will allow me to reach out to many more people. If you would like to know more about becoming a sponsor, please contact me
to see what we can offer each other.
I began my catering business in 2004. With my passion for cooking BBQ and the enjoyment I get from working with others, I know I will be able to continue growing in my business year after year, providing quality foods for my clients. I look forward to meeting you and helping to make your event a success with BBQ style!
Hillsboro, TN. 37342