Where There Is Smoke There’s Fun

May 31, 2018, 1:57 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2023, 7:23 pm

Exclusive interviews with many of the Pit Masters you will meet at the Denver BBQ Festival! Our very own Big Sexy will explore how these legends of the pit got their start, their secrets to making their signature dish, and much more

Carey Bringle
Peg Leg Porker
Nashville, TN


For over a quarter century, Carey has competed at Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and he has the talent that brings trophies back home to Nashville, where he serves up his signature BBQ and whiskey.

Quick Cut: Carey’s Famous Turkey
Food Offering: Famous Dry Rubbed Ribs

Marlando “Big Moe” Cason
Ponderosa BBQ
Des Moines, IA


One of the biggest names and biggest personalities in BBQ brings big flavors to Denver BBQ Festival. Big Moe lives the BBQ life every day and his pit prowess has earned him numerous spots on television, on commercials, and on countless plates of BBQ.

Quick Cut: Cognac Filet Mignon
Food Offering: Smoked Brisket

Mike Johnson and Christina Fitzgerald
Sugarfire Smokehouse
St. Louis, MO


This power couple has the talent and insight you would expect from two classically trained chefs who saw the light and embraced the unique challenges of achieving smoked excellence. They combine the hallowed traditions of BBQ along with with their one-of-a-kind spin on the craft.

Quick Cut: Leg of Lamb
Food Offering: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Brad and Brooke Orrison
The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint
Ocean Springs, MS


This dynamic duo hasn’t met a meat that they couldn’t smoke to perfection. They do everything with a unique flair that reflects their enigmatic and magnetic personnas. They invite you to come get fed at The Shed this year at the Denver BBQ Festival.

Quick Cut: Prime Rib
Food Offering: World Champion Whole Hog


Garry Roark and Leslie Scott Roark
Ubon’s BBQ
Yazoo City, MS


These multi-generational BBQ legends have forgotten more about BBQ than most of us know. It’s all about southern hospitality, and a visit with the Ubon’s crew at the Denver BBQ Festival will include a healthy dose of brilliant BBQ, killer bloody marys and stupid good fried chicken.

Quick Cut: Mississippi Ribeye
Food Offering: Chicken Quarters and Sausage


Scott Roberts
The Salt Lick BBQ
Driftwood, TX


Nobody messes with Texas, especially when it comes to brisket. At The Salt Lick, they run the nation’s oldest open pit, which has been smoking since 1965. The secrets to succulent brisket are an age-old family secret that you can experience at the Denver BBQ Festival.

Quick Cut: Bison Ribs
Food Offering: Brisket and Sausage


Mike Emerson
Pappy’s Smokehouse
St. Louis, MO


With the wild success of Pappy’s Smokehouse, Mike is the unofficial face of the BBQ renaissance in St. Louis. He is well-known by BBQ lovers for his two most iconic creations: his glazed, Memphis-inspired ribs and his beard.

Quick Cut: Candied Bacon Ham
Food Offering: St. Louis Style Ribs

John David Wheeler
Memphis Barbecue Company
Horn Lake, MS


The head pitmaster for the much-decorated and widely respected Natural Born Grillers competition team, John is one of the most awarded pitmasters in the world. He makes one righteous rack of ribs, and he has the trophies to prove it.

Quick Cut: Tomahawk Ribeye
Food Offering: Memphis Ribs


Jason Ganahl
Denver, CO


After honing his chops in St. Louis’ BBQ hotbed, Jason took his red-hot passion for BBQ to Denver and began to spread the smoked love to the Mile High City. Now he boasts a packed trophy case and a must-visit Denver BBQ joint.

Quick Cut: Rock Lobster Tails
Food Offering: Smoked then Fried Chicken Wings and Smoked Salmon

Joe Duncan
Baker’s Ribs
Dallas, TX


Joe has proven that slow (smoked) and steady wins the race. He’s been making brilliant BBQ since 1979 and in 2018 is celebrating 30 years of his highly acclaimed BBQ hotspots: Baker’s Ribs. Taste the ‘que that made Joe the toast of Texas.

Quick Cut: Prime Rib Roast
Food Offering: Famous Texas Smoked Ribs

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Where There Is Smoke There’s Fun